Niger state government is set to re-invigorate its Shea butter global rating and re-position the industry in the state for local and international market.
The state Commissioner of Commerce and Investment, Hajiya Ramatu Mohammed Yar’Adua disclosed this at the weekend to news men in Minna, the state capital.
Yar’Adua said that for the actualisation of this, the State government is to partner with American Shea Butter Institute (ASBI) and the Atlanta City Council of the United State on the improvement of Shea butter production through new technology in the State.
To this end, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to signed between the state and its American partners in the next two weeks to enable the re-invigoration process of the industry commence.
She further said that a road map is to be produced for the development of the sector in the state with a view to increasing the value of Shea-nut tree in the state from $2 to $1000.
The road map will also entail training and equipping of designated participants, quality control protocols and for the establishment of a certification centre for Shea products.
The Commissioner who was elated about the development said the partnership would also help in establishing Niger State Shea Sector (NSSS) and improve the internally generated revenue base of the state.
To kick start the new partnership, Yar’adua said women will actively be engaged in the training of the Shea nuts picking and preservation for a proper storage in the state in line with international best practices.
The commissioner further said that in view of the economic viability of Shea-nut trees, enumeration of the trees will be conducted while farmers are encouraged to plant more of the trees in the state in order to improve the revenue generation of the state.