The Nigeria Agribusiness Register, an online market repository for commodities across the agricultural value chain, is facilitating an investment push into Nigeria that will help the country secure a greater share of the world’s Shea butter market.
It is working through its monthly Agribusiness Networking (AgNet), an investment facilitation platform of Commodity Development Initiative (CDI), a Nigeria-based social entrepreneurial group.
Working with public and private sector partners, CDI hopes to facilitate the inflow of as much as US$ 30-40 million in the coming months to support growth of Nigeria’s Shea sector.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global Shea butter market is expected to reach a value of US$ 3.5 billion by the end of 2028, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 5.2% over the forecast period.
A Global Shea Alliance (GSA) briefing of the 6th International Shea Industry Conference revealed that Nigeria’s largely untapped Shea market can yield $2 billion annually, while having a great impact on poverty eradication within the country.
The June edition of AgNet with the theme ‘Optimizing the Nigerian Shea Industry for Global Relevance’ will hold on the 20th in Abuja and will focus on the Shea value chain in Nigeria.
A key expected outcome of the event is to identify actionable measures to optimise Nigeria’s potential to enter the international Shea butter trade in a significant way.
According to Roland Oroh, who is the founder and managing director of CDI, the group looks forward to the June 20th AgNet event and the follow-up actions to support the Shea industry realise its potential.
According to estimates by the Global Shea Alliance, Nigeria has the largest number of Shea trees from nearly 2 billion of the trees found on natural parklands in 21 African countries. Nigeria is estimated to host over 60 percent of the Shea trees, but has failed to harness its full potential to enter the global market.
In contrast, Ghana, through the Ghana Nuts Company, sells Shea butter products in the international market, yet it has less than 20 percent of the quantity of Shea nuts that Nigeria produces.
This skewed market scenario is expected to change soon, as the June edition of AgNet will focus on the Shea industry and how to facilitate additional investments into the sector. This event will also provide some groundwork to support the CBN and the Bankers Committees decision to lend at single-digit to the shea, cashew and cocoa industries by setting aside N200 billion.
Aaron Audu, the managing director of Global Shea Alliance (GSA), said this is Nigeria’s opportunity as the global Shea Industry would like to see the country take its rightful place in terms of having a well-structured industry ready to compete and eventually control its own share of the global Shea butter market.
Niger State has the largest number of Shea trees in the country, according to the CDI. In preparation for the event, the CDI team made an assessment visit to the Talba Shea Butter Village, a community-assisted project operated by the Alheri Women Cooperative along the Minna-Zungeru road in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
The Shea Production Village (SPV) is considered a critical component of any developmental strategy to put the Nigerian Shea butter products in the global Shea trade cycle.
The Niger State Government is supporting the AgNet event as part of measures to attract foreign and local investors to establish modern Shea processing facilitates in the state. The wife of the Governor has confirmed her participation as a Special Guest for the event.
“Niger State is ready to take its place not only in the local shea industry but in the global industry. We are open to local and foreign investors setting up modern processing facilities to take advantage of the large stock of Shea trees in the state,” says Barrister Zainab Gogo Halilu, director-general, Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Agency.
The key factors driving growth of the Shea butter market include the growing demand for cocoa butter alternatives in chocolate and confectioneries, increasing consumption of chocolate and bakery products, rise of premium products in the food and beverages industry, and soaring Shea butter consumption by cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers.
The CDI team had previously paid a courtesy visit to the wife of the Niger State Governor, Amina Bello, with discussions held on the development significance of the Shea sector. They also deliberated on the need for community-focussed advocacy to support planned measures, such as addressing the indiscriminate felling of Shea trees for fire wood in the natural parklands and forests in the state.
HARRISON EDEH, ABUJA