The Shea Project - New Sudan
burdened by civil war, Africas largest country
bridges northern and central Africa, including the
watersheds of both the Nile and Congo rivers. The
northern border of the shea zone extends from Sahr
in Chad through Birao (Central African Republic) to
Sudan at Hofrat en Nahas in Southern Darfur.
contrast to another type of oil resource, most of
the Sudanese shea zone lies definitively within the
southern sphere of influence, an area administered
by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) as
the New Sudan.
of the Sudanese shea resource began under the British
administration in the 1950s, with construction of
a processing factory at Wau. From 1955, southern Sudan
has been riven by war, and not for another 50 years
would the resource receive any substantial attention.
1997, non-governmental organizations MEDIC and Norwegian
Peoples Aid (NPA) sent project staff for technical
training in improved shea processing by COVOL Uganda
under the Shea Project. NPA and MEDIC subsequently
made the first investments in processing technology
for installation in Sudan. From 1997-2001, COVOL provided
technical training to over 200 Sudanese producers,
and sold 10 grinding units and 30 hand-presses to
projects in Sudan.
of the shea industry in southern Sudan has been very
effective in a short time, but experience has shown
that programs have suffered due to the short-term
nature of emergency work, with discontinuity
of activities over the medium term. Most organizations
working in southern Sudan operate on the basis of
a two-year program, managed by a staff with high turnover.
Programmatic priorities change according to donor
whims as well as internal dynamicswith the end
result of functional projects becoming inactive after
a few years.
lead agency on shea in the New Sudan, MEDIC has been
working since 2000 in two project sites, at Mapel
(Wau County) and Wullu (formerly Rumbek, now Mvolo
County). MEDIC has also taken a lead role in networking
between practitioners and projects, with an interest
in providing technical support across the shea belt
of New Sudan.
2001, MEDIC hosted a technical training workshop which
brought together 35 representatives of 9 projects
from Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Western Equatoria and
Eastern Equatoria. Following this meeting, a set of
common principles and objectives were developed upon
which to establish a network of producers known as
the New Sudan Lulu Network.
2002, MEDIC has established primary production centers
at 26 rural locations, consisting of a hand-press
and basic utensils. Extension agents provide basic
technical training, sheanut is stored and sold at
these rural centers. Shea butter is produced and divided
between household food requirements and the regional
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processing technology training for women from Yirol,
Acowa, Uganda March 2000