Shea Trees grow wild and regenerate naturally. I’m often asked about how many seeds are left behind to regenerate and grow. Most of them are. Research estimate suggest that at least 85% of the Shea Seeds that fall from Shea Trees are unpicked and available to germinate.
As you can see from the discussion with Alfred Akolgo Baraka’s Country Manager, there are lots of young Shea Trees coming up. Shea Trees take several years before they start fruiting, so these young seedlings are a few years away from producing the delicious fruit and the seed that makes Shea Butter.
The real dangers to Shea Trees and the industry are burning. While efforts are underway to reverse it, there is a growing practice of burning off areas in the dry season. This damages the seedlings. There is also some cutting of Shea Trees for making charcoal (although the more money people make from the Shea Butter industry the less motivation there is for this). Climate change is another issue – there isn’t a lot known about how climate change will affect the Shea Industry but what is known is scary.