Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Nov 23, 2018 9:53:27 GMT 1
Shea nut has been a major source of livelihood and an invaluable source of income for many people in the country.
Shea nut is processed into Shea butter and with the demand for natural and organic products rising in the Western world, shea nut has become a hot commodity.
Many people are aware of Shea butter and its numerous benefits but are yet to realise the highly profitable potentials in the export of the product.
Nigeria is a leading producer of Shea nut and Shea butter in the world. Shea nut and shea products are mainly produced in Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Kogi, Oyo, Benue, Edo.
Shea trees, which grow wildly throughout Nigeria, are predominantly in 21 of the 36 states of the country.
The shea tree can grow as high as 15 metres and takes about 15 years before a tree begins to fruit and about 25 years before it is fully mature. The tree can then produce fruits for the next 200 years. The tree has a 200-year life span.
It is estimated that Nigeria accounts for over 400,000 metric tonnes or 58 per cent of the capacity out of over 580,000 metric tonnes of shea nuts produced annually in West Africa.
The business of shea nuts and shea butter has the capacity to earn foreign exchange, reduce poverty, empower women, and generate employment through the establishment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
A large percentage of Shea nuts produced in Nigeria are exported, while the rest is used locally.
Shea butter which is made from shea nuts, when exported or consumed locally, is used in food products such as chocolates. Confectioners also use it as a cocoa butter equivalent to give chocolates a higher melting point and a smoother texture.
Due to the large arable land available for production and the conducive climatic condition in Nigeria, the nation has good advantage in the cultivation, processing and export of Shea products over its counterparts.
Nigeria’s Shea is one of the best in the world and qualify for organic certification.
Major destinations for Nigeria’s shea nut are the Europe, United States and Japan. The export season for Shea nut begins in June and ends in October.
There is no doubt that there is a growing demand for shea butter and its allied products across the world but meeting the demand has been a challenge. The industry is lucrative and widely open to prospective investors.
Shea butter, a major derivative from shea nuts is also used as moisturizers in the cosmetic industry. Its uses include the treatment of skin disorders like stretch marks, acne, eczema, itching, rashes, burns, wrinkles, skin discolorations, itching etc
It also protects from the sun’s UV rays and an excellent agent for softening skin. It can also be used to maintain hair moisturization especially in dry hair.
The oil content of Shea nut is the most important element of the product as that component is an important ingredient in the composition of the shea butter that goes into Cocoa Butter Equivalents and other by-products.
You may buy the Shea nuts from farmers and export it or be fully involved in its cultivation or process the shea nut into shea butter. Whichever way, impressive returns is guaranteed.
The return on investment on the export of Shea nut is estimated between 10%- 15% while for Shea butter it is between 15%-25%.