Women from Asunafo North Union diversify into soap making

7. option BShops and supermarket isles in Ghana will soon be spotting a new addition to their soap category known as ‘Alata Samina’. ‘Alata samina’ is the local name given to soap made from cocoa husks. The soap will be produced by women cocoa farmers from Asunafo North Union in Ghana.

This project was borne out of a partnership between Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and the Union through an MOU that will see the local women trained in soap making as an income diversification project.

 Asunafo North Union is one of the largest cocoa Fairtrade certified groups in Ghana with a membership of 5,773 members with 43.03% being women.

 The women have been registered and supported to open bank accounts with the Union’s Savings and Loans Company. To run this project, each woman will be given a ‘soft’ loan of GHC1,000 (USD250) as a start-up capital to purchase the equipment and ingredients required in soap production. They will then repay this patient capital as they conduct their businesses.

 To expand the trade and benefit more women, each woman is then expected to train at least two additional women in their society within a year.

 As part of their marketing campaign, the women recently exhibited at a trade fair organised by the Ministry of Trade in Goaso, the capital of Asunafo North Municipal District and they had a chance to interact with potential customers.

 “This initiative has helped me to have an alternative income to support my family during the lean cocoa season. I am grateful for Asunafo North Union for the training, logistical and financial support. The Union has supported me to get an additional job. Through this initiative, I will be able to train other women of my society” Angelina Asante, Asuadei society, Asunafo North Union.