The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Youth Entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has held a free training for youths and women on shea butter export processing and packaging in Oyo State.
Speaking at the program, Segun Bolaji, NACCIMA state coordinator, disclosed that the association had organized the training due to the fact that the global supply of shea butter is presently lower than the demand but that the quality of most sources falls below international standards.
Shea butter, a versatile ingredient with a wide range of applications in the cosmetics industry, is expected to continually increase in demand across Europe as a result of the growing popularity of natural and organic cosmetics amongst Europeans.
Shea is grown primarily in West and East Africa, with Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda being the largest producers of the commodity.
Citing the Nigeria Agribusiness Register Network, Bolaji noted that Nigeria’s shea butter market has the untapped capacity to yield roughly $2 billion in profit each year.
“The harvesting, utilisation and marketing of indigenous shea fruits, nuts and butter have been central to the livelihoods of millions of people in rural communities throughout Africa. Despite its importance, processing and marketing of shea butter are the most challenging stages in the shea value chain across the African continent,” Bolaji remarked.
Bolanle Emmanuel, head of the NEPC’s Ibadan Export Assistance Office, advised the beneficiaries of the training to make as much use of their acquired knowledge as possible in order to better their lives, as the training, which they received at no cost, was priceless.
The training took place in Saki, the hub for shea butter in Oyo State, with over 200 youths and women from various part of the state in attendance.