The European Union has thrown its weight behind Nigerian women with the requisite skills to boost Shea-butter production.
A statement by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria says the EU support is coming through its expert on Technical Barriers to Trade, African Caribbean and Pacific countries’ programme.
The statement say that Nigerian agricultural and allied products now have a major boost in regional and international markets following a recent harmonisation of standards exercise carried out by the Africa Regional Organisation for Standardisation, adding that the harmonisation was a result of clamours to make the continent’s agricultural sector competitive globally.
Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Dr. Paul Angya, says the organisation will now encourage local Shea-butter production in Nigeria, adding that the next step is for the nation to prioritise its agricultural sector and improve standards.
The current global shea butter value stands at more than 3.8 billion dollars and Nigeria contributes about 57 per cent of the global shea value,with a large untapped shea butter market that can yield about $2 billion additional revenue.
Dr Angya says SON will partner with The European Union to equip Nigerian women with the requisite skills and support to boost shea butter production in a bid to ensure that Nigeria benefits from the huge potential in the global shea butter market.
He says the programme which is expected to begin in August this year is targeted at empowering women in the country.
E.U. officials, Idinakide Eva, urged shea butter to Improve quality to encourage demand and increase production to alleviate poverty among the over 15 million women across West Africa involved in the production and processing of shea butter.