Nuts and Bits

The Economist recently had a really great article about how women in northern Ghana have started using barcodes that can be read by cellphones, combined with enterprise resource planning technology from SAP, to keep track of payments for the shea nuts (the type shea butter comes from) that they collect, dry, and sell for additional income. They’ve also started receiving education, through their mobile phones, on how to produce better quality nuts and formed an union named the Star Shea Network. The system has allowed them to gain more influence in the market, and allows to leverage microfinance institutions in order to sell the shea nuts later on in the season, which earns them significantly higher prices.

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