Dealers in the Nigerian shea industry have said they are now engaged in the process of building a number of shea processing factories, with a financial commitment estimated at about $30 million.
The Director Nigeria Agribusiness Register, Roland Oroh, said this on Thursday at his organisation’s monthly Agribusiness Networking (AgNet) conference in Abuja.
AgNet is an investment facilitation platform of Commodity Development Initiative (CDI). It also owns the Nigeria Agribusiness Register, which is CDI’s online repository of business intelligence across agro commodities and value chains.
According to Mr Oroh, “Nigerians are responding to setting up local modern processing plants with about five to eight plants in the pipeline, estimated cumulatively at $20- 30 million. These should materialise over the next two to three years.”
He said the Nigerian government has developed a National Shea Strategy Roadmap which is yet to be implemented.
This roadmap, according to him, will help with the participation of rural farmers, financial institutions, industrial processors, and exporters, among others.
He also said a National shea policy is being developed by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI).
Mr Oroh said that shea has been nominated as a focal commodity for rapid development and financing under the government of Nigeria’s Export Facilitation Initiative.
He also said N200 billion has been approved by the bankers’ committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for single-digit interest lending to shea, cocoa, cashew and oil palm.
“The Nigerian shea sector is also currently attracting international shea actors, with a few setting up local sourcing infrastructure, and about one to two of them setting up local processing plants”.
“The private sector is organising itself to respond to all of these opportunities and challenges, even as NASPAN is revitalizing the sector with support from the Global Shea Alliance,” he said.
In his presentation titled “A Snap Shot of the Nigeria Shea Industry, Mr Oroh assured of a revived local shea association providing support to members and the industry in the next 12 months.
The USAID West Africa Trade Hub project will be resident in Abuja very soon and shea is one of the key export products to be supported, he said.
“That project will have a large grant component to support innovative ideas,” he said.