NEPC, CBI Collaborate To Ramp Up Shea Production, Launch Shea Nigeria project

May 3, 2024

Nigerian Exports Promotion Council (NEPC) has further strengthened its collaboration with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (C)BI to improve the Shea industry in Nigeria , by focusing on the entire value chain , from picking to processing to exports of the finished products.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Nonye Ayeni stated this Thursday in Abuja while delivering her keynote address at the grand unveiling and launch of the Shea Nigeria Brand at the Councils headquarters.

Ayeni said the synergy with CBI will contribute immensely to eliminating challenges faced in the export sector, allowing Nigeria to  maximise her potentials and take its place in the global map.

“The sector has also for a very long time been faced with various challenges across the value chain, ranging from pre-and post-harvest handling, supply side constraints, quality inconsistency, negative image, low value exports, to mention just a few. As a result of these challenges, most of Nigeria’s Shea are exported as nuts without value addition thereby significantly reducing the expected revenue from the sector.

“Experts estimate that Nigeria could produce twice as much shea butter for export especially through crop domestication but right now, the industry is dominated by small-scale producers with limited capacity, often less than 0.1 tons per day.

“Nigeria can further solidify its position as a leading global supplier of shea butter and its derivatives by continuing to improve the industry through better processing techniques and quality control, developing infrastructure, providing industry support, and training and empowering local communities involved in shea production”, Ayeni said.

The NEPC Boss said the successes of its initial collaboration with CBI have necessitated this new initiative to target women producers and showcase Nigeria’s high production in the Shea global market.

“This intervention, we believe, will necessitate increased value and diversified markets through sustainability, improved quality, certification, organic production, and refined processing”, she said.

She further restated the Council’s resolve to spearhead and facilitate the development and promotion of this very important product and sector through such collaborative effort and several other interventions and programmes.

Earlier, the Managing Director, CBI, Judith Arends while emphasizing the numerous potentials of Nigeria Shea to add value to Shea global through targeted expansion along the value chain.

“I believe Shea Nigeria will help to add value to Shea global. There is so much potential in Shea Nigeria and this is the time to maximize it. We know how to work on the potential with our proven expertise dedicated to developing the sector”.

In the same vein, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello expressed worry over the non-appearance of Shea in Nigeria’s export. He further pledged dedicated funds specifically to the actualisation of the potential of Shea Nigeria from pickers to exporters.

“If the programme by CBI succeeds, the Shea value chain has the full support of NEXIM. Nigeria cannot have such a huge global commodity and won’t get the required value.

‘NEXIM has spent N5 billion to set up major processing plants for Shea. We shall dedicate money and work with NEPC to ensure we support the value chain from pickers to exporters. We shall ensure that the money generates value in terms of job creation and developing value”.

The CBI has been in a four year intervention programme with NEPC to sustain Nigeria’s Shea production capacity and enhance export.