• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Foundation clinches international certification for shea production

Foundation clinches international certification for shea production

Shea Integrated Global Foundation (SIGF) has clinched an international organic certification and recognition in the production of shea butter.

Priscilla Nwosu, a co-host of the foundation who spoke during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, explained that the certification process required adherence to a stringent organic standard set by both the European Union and the United States.

The processes according to her encompassed the various aspects of cultivation practices, soil management, and pest and disease control.

“By meeting these standards, we ensure that our shea products are produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. The organic certification acts as a seal of trust and credibility for our customers as consumers increasingly value products that are grown and processed sustainably, free from harmful chemicals and additives.

”The certification also grants us global access to lucrative organic markets in both the EU and the United States. The markets have a growing demand for organic products and consumers are willing to pay a premium for them. The certification provides increased export opportunities for Nigeria’s non-oil sector. ”This will contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s non-oil export sector and support the nation’s economic development goals.

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According to Nwosu, Nigeria has not been able to harness the potential of shea products as non-oil exports due to a lack of quality standards, market access and poor value addition process.

In his remarks, Ezra Yakusak, the Executive director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said that the certification, being the first in the shea butter value chain in Nigeria, will impact the volume and value of Nigeria’s non-oil export.

Yakusak, who was represented by Evelyn Obidike, director of product development department, NEPC, said that the council will ensure adequate visibility for the product in the global market.

‘’We are happy that Nigeria is now part of the shea butter global market. Shea butter market value which is currently $2.4 billion is expected to increase to $5.5 billion by the end of 2023. We expect that this value chain will provide more employment as it expands.’’

For Mohammed Kontagora, president, of the National Association of Shea Products (NASPAN), Nigeria despite having over 50 percent of the global shea trees still lags behind in international market participation.

“We need to take this value chain seriously, people are exporting shea products illegally, and we need the statistics of what goes out this will help us account for our production.

“Organic certification is something we have been looking forward to for a while. It is not an easy journey and we congratulate this company for this. We hope to have more of these certifications,’’ he said.