By AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has organised a workshop for more than 250 shea farmers in the country as part of efforts to strengthen the sector.
A cross-section of stakeholders representing trade associations, chambers of commerce, commercial attachés of embassies, export promotion agencies, international development agencies, private sector
companies, and financial institutions are attending the workshop.
Experts presented the latest information on industry trends, production techniques and the international market for shea, as well as practical information about the shea business.
“USAID believes that together, we can help Nigeria’s shea industry to take advantage of the business opportunities that exist for this commodity,” Acting Deputy Mission Director of USAID Nigeria, Kathy Body, said.
She said they also recognised that a stronger Nigerian role in the global shea market would particularly benefit rural Nigerian women.
Shea nuts have been traded regionally for centuries. It is estimated that approximately 400 000 tonnes are exported annually from West Africa, primarily for use as shea butter, which exists as a primary food ingredient or in cosmetic products.
The United States government through USAID, continues to support Nigeria’s shea industry, through the Global Shea Alliance.
This includes leading retail brands, shea butter manufacturers, research institutions, ministries, regulatory bodies and shea butter producers and exporters.
“By building local capacities and facilitating a dialogue on public-private partnerships, this conference will do much to further the development and vitality of the shea industry,” said Mobola Sagoe, Chief Executive of Shea Origin.
– CAJ News