Coping with the Upheavals of Globalization in the Shea Value Chain

Market globalization has had only a weak impact on the regional shea nut supply chain in western Burkina Faso despite the boom in the shea trade and the arrival of leading foreign firms. We show that despite the fact that wholesalers have kept the shea chain locked in an oligarchic organization for the last 50 years, they still play an important role in the smooth functioning of the chain and in profit sharing down the chain to the rural poor. We suggest that development actors should consider shea traders and their role in the coordination of the chain more carefully.

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