By Franca Ofili
The National Shea Product Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to establish Shea tree plantations to boost the economy and provide more jobs.
Hajiya Hadiza Danga, the association’s National Auditor, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Danga stated.that the establishment would encourage women to engage more in the business since they had been involved in it overtime.
As stated by her, income from the business would provide empowerment for the affected communities where, she said, the majority of the people lived below the poverty line.
She noted that Shea butter production was common in 19 states but was found in huge quantities in Kebbi and Niger states.
Danga told NAN that propagation of Shea butter would support rural and urban economy while Shea tree plantations would ensure sustainable Shea butter production and positively engage the youth.
She stated that lack of machines had been a challenge to Sea butter production, adding that most of the production was done manually at the moment.
Danga stated.that that a complete Shea butter making machine would include stretcher, crusher and miller.
“If the government can provide such a machine in at least each local government area where we produce Shea butter, it will go a long way to alleviate the suffering of women in the business,’’ she stated.
Dango stated.that the machine was expensive, although few producers in Niger had been able to get it.
As stated by her, Shea butter can serve as a base for tropical medicine for relief of rheumatic and joint pains, and treatment of wounds, nostril inflammation and dermatitis, among others.