rural women parboilers

Providing rice milling services to rural women in Northern Ghana.

Rural women parboilers are an integral part of our business model and we seek to grow with them.

We do this by providing commercial rice milling services to rural women parboilers as well as offtake their milled rice. We engaged five (5) rural women in 2019 and grew that number to (50) rural women in 2020. To optimise the capacity utilization of our milling facility, we will actively grow our database of rural women parboilers.

Rural Women Engaged

Mills Constructed


About Us

Shepherd’s Mills is an agro processing company registered with the Registrar General’s Department as an enterprise in 2015. Located in the Northern Region of Ghana, the company is in to the provision of rice milling services to rural women parboilers in Northern Ghana and serves as an output market to them. The business started by engaging 150 rural women located in three (3) communities namely, Giana, Gbanyamili, and Kanvili. These women are mostly young married women with children. Our women workers produce parboiled rice. Parboiling is a process of soaking and steaming raw rice to allow each grain to absorb nutrients from the rice bran before milling, making the rice grain healthier and more nutritious.

Since 2019, Shepherd's Mills has been selling parboiled rice on the Ghanaian market under its brand, Zinaria Rice. The company has its own factory, which is used to mill and package the Zinaria Rice brand. This factory is located in Tamale, Ghana and the business is operating at 30% capacity.


Our Vision

To provide women producers in rural communities with sustainable incomes.

Our Mission

Packaging high quality rice products from Northern Ghana to meet the rice consumption needs of the country and internationally.

Our Objectives

1. Employment generation:
Increase the number of engaged rural women in Northern Ghana.
2. Sales growth:
Increase the distribution and sales of Zinaria Rice brand.
3. Income growth:
Increase the incomes of engaged rural women.

Stories of the Rural Women

According to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), "rice parboiling is a major economic activity undertaken in Northern Ghana entirely by rural women with the number of parboilers having risen in recent years. 75,000 women and possibly as many as 120,000 women are estimated to be involved in parboiling - thus making a significant contribution to the sustainability of women's livelihoods in Northern Ghana."

Today, our business is setting up a cooperative, which will support 500 rural women. The cooperative is intended to formalize the relationship with the rural women improve their production quality and help strengthen their micro-businesses so that they can be sustained long term.

In the future, the cooperative will set up its own warehouse and processing centre to support increased and all year-round production.


Company Director

Priscilla Akoto-Bamfo is the sole proprietor of Shepherd’s Mills Enterprise. She has a BA in Geography and Resource Development (2012). She has 7 years of experience in agric-financing and agri-business consultancy. In those 7 years, she has worked at UT Bank, Market Development (MADE Ghana) Ghana Programme, Luminno UK, and Growth Mosaic. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow and has been supported by USADF and CAMFED.

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