Shea butter export hit 350,000mt, annual income of $200m –Minister
Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Minister of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, has said that shea butter export volume from producing countries, especially Africa, has grown to over 350,000 metric tonnes per annum, indicating about 600 per cent increase when compared with what it was 20 years ago.
Abubakar informed that the cheery news was that this was attracting an annual income of over $200 million into shea butter producing countries in addition to the employment opportunities for over four million people, especially women.
The Minister who made the remark yesterday in Abuja during the Global Shea Alliance Agenda with the theme, “Shea 2018 Going Further Together” explained that this was a far cry in view of the enormous potential and opportunities in the shea industry.
According to her, it is arguable that developed economies such as USA and Europe have embraced shea products as very important ingredient and raw materials for foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among others. “It is interesting to note that the global market for natural cosmetics is estimated to be about $30 billion and expected to grow about 10 per cent annually. Of this, the certified natural cosmetics component is about 45 per cent while the remaining 55 per cent consists of near natural cosmetics,” she said. In a brief remark at the event, Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, whose state is among the shea producers, said partnership will bring about the much needed empowerment of the people in line with the policy of the Federal Government to encourage business between Nigeria shea/industry shareholders and international buyers of the product.