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Nigeria To Address Infrastructural Challenges In Shea Sector

todayMarch 5, 2024 24

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To sustain Nigeria’s status as largest producer of shea butter globally, the Federal Government has promised to address all infrastructural challenges confronting the sector.

The Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka Anite made the promise in Abuja during the Global Shea Alliance Conference with the theme “Bridging the Gap”.

The Minister who was represented by the Director, Industrial Inspectorate Department in the Ministry, Mrs Aniete Umuesien described shea butter as a key agricultural product hence the need to give stakeholders in the sector most especially women the needed support towards enhancing national economic development.

According to her, the relevant Government Agencies are making concerted efforts to maximize the potential of the shea sector in Nigeria thereby increasing export volume and global supply of shea products.

“May I at this point congratute the National Shea Products Association of Nigeria for the tremendous attention and support the Association is receiving from both the Government of Nigeria and Global Shea Alliance as well as some international donor agencies like USAID because all these support are as a result of the zeal, commitment and enthusiasm of the leadership of the Association and its stakeholders towards ensuring that shea is improved to the level that it would lead other agricultural commodities in volume and in value ” the Minister added.

In a virtual message, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala also promised the Organization’s support to manufacturing of Shea products in Nigeria to enable women who are the major players in the sector to benefit from WTO loan facilities.

Dr. Okonjo – Iweala commended the efforts of the Global Shea Alliance for what it has done in empowering millions of women in Africa while also ensuring the protection of the shea ecosystem.

The Director General of WTO who said over sixteen million women in West Africa make a living from farming and processing shea nuts added that women make 237 million dollars in direct income from shea while cosmetics shea butter market currently is worth over 600 million dollars and is expected to reach about 850 million dollars by the end of 2027.

On her part, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mrs Nonye Ayeni said the Council had trained over eight thousand women on shea butter production and other commodities from the shea nuts towards boosting export of the nation’s Non-oil products.

While reiterating NEPC’s continuous support for stakeholders in the shea sector, Mrs Nonye Ayeni advised them to always take good advantage of the Council’s intervention programmes and training in enhancing their productivity.

In a message, the Emir of Keffi in Nasarawa State, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Shehu Chindo Yamusa called for more support for small holder farmers in rural areas on shea production towards empowering farmers at the grassroots most especially women.

The three day conference which is being attended by Representatives of Niger and Kwara State Governors as well as stakeholders in the Shea Industry the world over will feature a panel discussion and paper presentation and come up with strategies towards boosting production in the sector.

Mathew Ayoola, Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Safiya Wada

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