Project Title:    Development Of Shea Butter For Domestic Industry And Export

Shea butter is an off-white or ivory vegetable fat extract from the kernel of the fruit of the Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Nigeria has the largest shea nut belt in the world and is recognized as the world leading producer of Shea nut. The documented annual production is between 330, 000 -350,000MT while the potential production is estimated at 750,000MT from the shea nut growing areas of North Central, North West, North East, South West zones and the FCT.

The focus of this project is to facilitate and promote increased production and processing of shea nut, as well as support and build capacity of shea nut processors to improve quality of Nigerian shea butter for domestic use and export.

An 8-hectare land has been acquired by the Council at Gawu village, Abaji Area Council of the FCT for the establishment of a model shea nut processing centre. A reduced gestation period of 5 years improved Shea nut seedlings have been identified at National Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) outstation Bida. The Council is collaborating with NIFOR, Shea Farmers Cooperatives and National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN) for seed multiplication and boosting to ensure raw material sustainability.

Furthermore, in order to improve the quality of shea butter for domestic use and export, the Council is also collaborating with the American Shea Butter Institute (ASBI) for grade analysis, capacity building and information exchange.

2015 African Cosmetic Products Exhibition
The Agbaku-eji Women Shea Butter Cooperative Society, producers of shea butter using the Council’s upgraded indigenous processing plant in company of the Kwara State Coordinator, participated at the 2015 African Cosmetic Products Exhibition organized by Global Shea Alliance, an international non-profit organization with Headquarters in Ghana. The exhibition was at the held at 2015 at Lagos international Trade Fair between 6th - 15th November.

The exhibition created an opportunity for interaction between the Agbaku-eji women with other shea butter producers from Mali, Ghana, Senegal and Burkina-Faso and Benin Republic. Information were obtained on different methods of handling and processing of nuts and prevailing techniques for processing. Awareness was created on packaging and labeling of Shea butter related products.