As part of efforts to increase the state’s internally Generated Revenue (IGR) using sheanut, the Niger State government has concluded plan to develop a master plan aimed at serving as a viable agricultural model in the country.
The chairman, Niger State Shea Sector Development Programme, (NASSSDP), Ajibola Oluyede, disclosed this during a visit to Federal Institute of Industrial Research, (FIIRO), in Lagos recently.
Oluyede, stated that the visit to FIIRO was timely and critical since the institute remains an authority in the Shea sector and would serve as a senior partner to Niger State on the project.
He also revealed that Niger State has the largest collection of Shea trees in the world with about 54 per cent and produces the largest collection of Shea fruits.
According to him, Nigeria was yet to fully tap into the economic potential of its natural resources in developing its various rural areas where they are abundant in supply.
He assured that, ”NSSSDP was establish to expand the value chain of the Shea sector, thereby empowering the rural indigenes whose livelihood depend on the Shea sector.”
The Director General, FIIRO, Prof. Gloria Elemo, acknowledged the effort of NSSSDP Team towards improving quality of Shea nut in Nigeria, while stressing that FIIRO has “mandates on Research and Development in Shea nut processing and the handling of the Shea nut from the fruit to butter refining into exportable products.”
Elemo, told the team that FIIRO was willing to partner with the zero-oil initiative of the NSSSDP using shea to attract foreign exchange.
She added that, ”FIIRO is equipped with the right technology to help the state government meets its objectives in the Shea nut value chain.”