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Kombo Butter Processing by Women Groups at Begoro and Ampenkro

Unrelenting efforts by ASNAPP to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for resource-poor communities in Ghana has paid off through an innovative partnerships with private companies; BioResources International Ltd and Response Products. The partnership is providing market opportunities for Kombo butter which is processed by predominantly women groups in Begoro and Ampenkro in the Eastern and Central regions of Ghana respectively.

Kombo butter is the seed fat from a nut obtained from the Pycnanthus angolensis or Pycnanthus kombo tree which grows abundantly in West Africa. The tree is called "otie" by the Akans in Ghana and it is one of the lesser known timber species in the Country. Kombo butter is unique in that it is the only substantial plant source of myristoleic acid and made up of about 50% trimyristin the only known natural product containing such high amounts of this important ester.

No commercial use had been found for the nut in Ghana until BRI collaborated with ASNAPP to develop commercial products out of these seeds. Some of these novel products include Kombic acid and CMO precursors. Scientifically Kombo Butter is used for the management of arthritis, gout, general body pains and cosmetic applications. Potential application of Kombo can also be in the manufacture of Paints and polish. Though initial marketing challenges were encountered, a new application of Kombo in the horse industry is offering exciting new opportunities.

ASNAPP in conjunction with its partner, Rutgers university, USA has collaborated with BRI, BioResources International Ltd and Response Products has worked with two women groups (total of 50 processors) to mobilize and process Kombo nuts into butter for sae.

Rutgers provides scientific analysis support leading to new applications. After extensive training and capacity building in the adoption and use of standard operating procedures, the groups are able to produce high quality butter, with low free fatty acid (FFA) content. To date, these women groups have generated over $100,000 from kombo butter by processing over 90MT of Kombo nuts into 25MT of butter which hitherto had no commercial value to these communities. This activity is not only putting money in the pockets of women groups, but also demonstrated the capability of rural communities to also participate in the value addition chain at the local level. The rippling effect is now being felt by support services providers such as fuelwood suppliers, millers, utility providers and casual labourers that have been employed in the processing of the butter.


Name: Larry Amekuse
Email address: larry@asnapp.org.gh , asnapp-gh@asnapp.org.gh
Telephone number: 00233-244-864372, 00233-302-505617