In furtherance of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello’s quest to promoting entrepreneurship particularly among women, Kogi state government is exploring ways to enhance the Shea Butter value chain as a catalyst for women empowerment in the State.
To this end, a delegation from Kogi Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA) has embarked on a Tour to Niger State on a mission to understudy the Shea-Butter value chain in the neighbouring State.
A statement by KEDA’s Communication Strategist, Opeyemi Ologun, explained that the Tour which commenced on Wednesday 27th July 2022, was meant to afford the Agency a chance to explore potential transfer of knowledge towards growing the market for Shea Butter which has been named a catalyst for women empowerment in Nigeria.
Niger State Commodity Exchange Promotion Agency (NSCEPA), a State Agency responsible for increase in production, marketing and distribution of various agricultural produce in the State received the KEDA delegation.
In a remark, the DG NSCEPA, Fatima Wushishi, described KEDA’s quest to understudy Shea butter development in Niger State as highly professional.
Fatima further noted that Kogi State’s diversification in Agriculture is a great step in the right direction just as its exploring the various economically viable deposits across the State.
According to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Nigeria is estimated to produce about 500,000 metric tonnes of shea nuts annually with the potential of generating 10 billion dollars per annum across the value chain.
Niger State has focused on systematically organising the sector attracting numerous partners; notable among this feat is the UN Women, as 7 cooperatives have participated and received international trainings to train more women.
Interestingly, Niger, Kogi and Kwara contributed 57 percent to the Shea Butter value chain, while other states jointly contributed 43 percent.
Despite Kogi State’s huge landmass with comparative advantage of Shea trees in all the 21 LGAs, there is a need to increase the production capacity of the sector.
NSECPA and KEDA teams discussed issues around Shea butter Entrepreneurs and Cooperatives; Partnerships and collaborations with Foreign Agencies and Organizations; Shea butter Aggregation, Filtration and Export; Investors and Marketing; Supply and Value chain; Challenges, Solutions and Prospects during the course of the tour.
KEDA Team also visited the Shea Butter village to assess the production strength and interact with the farmers.
Kogi State through KEDA is proposing a multidisciplinary approach that combines fruit farming, apiary, biochar, and other similar produce with a view to increasing revenue, sharing operations, expertise and fostering sustainability and expansion in the State.
Mr. Daniel Ogu – Research and Development Specialist and KG-CARES ICT Enhancement Lead, Mr. Umar Ahmed Tijani – Business Development Associate and KG-CARES Head of Credit Grants and Mrs. Joyce Atawodi – Coordinator of Kogi Shea Butter Association, made up the KEDA Delegation.
Among Niger State team who received the KEDA delegation were Fatima Wushishi, DG, NSCEPA; Baba Etsu-yankpa, Assistant Director Admin NSCEPA; Hajiya Jummai Abubakar, Chairperson, NASPAN and Hon. Yahaya Umar Kotongora, SSA to Niger State Governor on NSCEPA.