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SAP and PlaNet Finance Hit Critical Milestones in Ghana Shea Value Chain Initiative

Dear friends of the shea project in Ghana in collaboration with Planet Finance,

Just in case you missed the big news. Only 18 months after the announcement of the global partnership between SAP and PlaNet Finance, we were able to communicate significant progress. SAP issued a press release where not only the achievement of critical mile stones was mentioned. The Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum also published a case study about the project, where the progress of the project has been assessed.

Let me summarize the most important points:

  • Through the work of PlaNet Finance and the local micro financing institutes, 1500 women in Northern Ghana have been grouped, organized, and are now associated in the starshea network. The webpage helps them to market the network and it’s services.
  • Women have been trained in producing high quality nuts and butter. Samples were taken and analyzed in modern laboratories. Butter with less than 0.75% free fatty acids and moisture content of nuts<3% are great example parameters which prove the success of the training.
  • Olam International, a leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients – and valued SAP customer, has bought 93 tons of nuts directly from the women. Olam paid a premium of 15% for the high quality. As an in-kind donation, Olam also equipped the women with protective clothing (boots, gloves) to protect them against snake bites.
  • The Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum, under the leadership of Prof. Hau Lee, has published a case study about the project. Besides many other things, the study unveiled an overall income increase of the women of 59% for standard nuts and 82% for the premium nuts. Whereas some degree of that income increase is due to the quality premium, the majority of the benefit was due to the fact that women were able to sell later in the year, where market prices are typically higher.
  • SAP has contributed with its core expertise to support the shea nut program. “Rural market connection” is a software package used to manage and process orders and allow buyers to interact directly with rural women while creating increased traceability and transparency along the value chain. Additionally, the women will receive information from the system directly to their cell phones via SMS.

After all, I consider this another great day for the women in Northern Ghana.

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      Author's profile photo Nigel James
      Nigel James
      These projects are importantly not just sending cash but bringing skills and creating relationships.
      Well done and thanks for the update,


      Author's profile photo Deepak Giridhar Joshi
      Deepak Giridhar Joshi
      Hi Heino

      Looks like others are joining in this amazing initiative. Good to hear.

      Deepak Joshi

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Congratulations SAP, you seem to be doing a very nice job in that project. I really like that initiative!

      The question that immediately came to my mind was, why not leverage the power of the SCN community to replicate such projects to many places around the world quickly?

      Therefore I created an Idea on IdeaPlace and hope to find many supporters for the idea.

      Vote here:

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Anton,
      thanks a lot for your encouragement.
      Scale and replication and are indeed the next big challenges that are on our agenda. We are considering all options: productization, technology donation and open source. I apreaciate any idea to all of these three options. Or is there even a forth one?