Trade Ministry charges Shea butter producers with global best practices

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State.

Stakeholders in Shea butter business have been advised on the need to explore the  potential in improving shea nut production and processing to meet international standards.



Dr. Evelyn Ngige, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, stated this during a stakeholders’ sensitization programme on Shea nut quality improvement in Minna, the Niger State Capital .



Ngige, who was represented by Alhaji Gata Liman, Director, Federal Produce Inspection Service Department (FPISD), said the programme was to highlight the standard practice required to maintain quality of Shea nut produced in Niger State.



She added that improving the quality of Shea nut would help build a robust export market structure through increased demand for the commodity.



“At the end of the programme, market opportunities should be opened up for local farmers, merchants, processors and exporters as they adopt the internationally accepted standards for Shea nut.



“It is only when the right strategies are deployed in the sector that the expected revenue can be generated in abundance from export of the commodity.


“Statistics from the global markets indicated that Shea nut production and processing was way beyond subsistence production,” added Ngige.



Dr. Ngige, who further urged that Shea nut should be properly dried, cleaned, packaged and stored, added  that adulteration of any form was unacceptable as exportable Shea nut consignment must be free from pest-infestation.



Mr Dafang Sule, the Deputy Director FPISD, in a welcome address said the programme was to create awareness on the requirements for improving Shea nut quality as key component of prescribed standards for agro-export.



Mr Sule added that the department would continue to ensure the quality of Shea butter as well as enforce compliance with stipulated standards for women to get maximum returns.



Hajiya Jummai Abubakar, the Coordinator of National Association of Shea Butter Processors in Niger State, called on the Federal and State governments’ support through training of women in modern ways of processing Shea butter.



“We want the government to support our women with modern equipment because now shea butter is now a hot cake as the product is scare to get due to high demand,”  she urged.



Both representatives of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration Control ( NAFDAC),  Standard Organization of  Nigeria ( SON) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), advised those into Shea butter processing to always register their products for easy export.
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