The National Association of Shea Products of Nigeria (NASPAN) plans to kickstart the reforestation of certain reserved areas in Niger State. The initiative is an effort to increase the viability of Shea products within the state.
The President of the association, Mohammed Ahmed Kontagora, enunciated some of the challenges the industry to include insecurity, indiscriminate felling of Shea trees, sub-standard processing of Shea butter, among others. ‘This is the reason behind the initiative, and there is a campaign to plant ten million trees in ten years’, he said.
To solve the problems of sub-standard processing, Kontagora has assured NASPAN members will follow the new Shea processing method in line with the guidelines of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON). This would ensure that the Nigerian Shea products can compete in international markets. Currently the shea butter industry production capacity is less than 0.1 tons per day. However, with the right amount of investment, there is potential for growth. In addition, the association will also be collaborating with state governments to achieve better milestones in the sector going forward.