Shea Butter Production: A $72 Million Yearly Potential Earnings From Shea Nuts Production Untapped.

By Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi


Shea Butter Production: “At least 500,000 women in rural communities will be empowered by Kaiama Shea Butter Company, based in Quara, offering to plant a million shea butter trees throughout the state”, according to it’s chairman, Mr Temitope Amujo.

Shea Butter is obtain from the shea tree [vitellariaparadoxa] Extracted from the nuts of the shea tree that is native to Africa, shea butter is a fatty oil that exists as a solid at room temperature. The Karite tree bears the fruits, and the nuts inside the fruits are of prime importance. These nuts are crushed, boiled, and manipulated to extract a light-colored fat, which is commonly referred to as shea butter. Shea trees, which grow wildly throughout the country, are predominantly in 21 of the 36 states of the federation.

With an estimated $3 billion annual expected revenue, Nigeria produces an estimated 600,000 metric tonnes of shea butter annually and produces 60% of the total world production. The prices of shea butter is put at N800 per kg and N800, 000 per metric tonnes. With current global demand for shea butter projected to grow from about $10 billion to more than $30 billion per annum by 2020.

Shea butter grows extensively in 21 of the 36 states in Nigeria. With Niger State [which accounts for 57% of the shea butter production in Nigeria] as Nigeria dominant shea butter producer, and also in Kwara State [which accounts for 10% of Nigeria shea butter production], Nassarawa, Kaduna, Edo, Taraba, Bauchi, Sokoto, Jigawa and Federal Capital Territory. Shea nuts are collected in the picking season of April – October [dry season], which involves; collection, selection, washing, drying, and oil extraction.

“They toiled, they sweat, they persevere, from dawn to sunset, they wade through the forest to pick the seeds; these shea butter picking women of Tungan Wawa, Boso Local Government Area of Niger State!

Shea Butter Production
Shea Butter Production

Sitting atop a wooden stood at Niger State Shea Butter Processing Center, Babagi, Katcha Local Government Area, is Laraba Illiyasu, removing the husk of the shea butter seed preparing it for oil extraction by the machine at the center. This is one out of the three Shea Butter Processing Centres in Niger State, the others are located in Farin Shinge, Kontagora Local Government Area and Tungan Wawa, Bosso Local Government Area. There are four Women Shea Butter Cooperative Centers in Niger State:

1.Women of Shea Butter Coop, Assanyin, Bida Local Government Area.

2.Sekaf Shea Butter Village.

3.PZ Cussons Shea Butter Village, Farin Shinge, Kontagora Local Government Area.

4.Alheri Women Cooperatives, Tsohon Kampam Kodo, Bosso Local Government Area.

Governor Abubakar Sanni Bello of Niger State has said, “In establishing these 3 Shea Butter Villages [SBV], Niger State government will curb activities of middle men [who goes from village to village to buy the seeds from women] and empower more women by putting money into their pockets.”

Niger State Commissioner for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hajia Rahmatu Mohammed Yar’adua said, “Niger State has engaged International Consultants to help harnessed the limitless shea seeds abundance in Niger State, which will in in-turn empower more women, generate revenue and create employment opportunities for the teeming youths.”

Popularly called, “Kadanya” in Hausa, “Ori” in Yoruba, and “Okwume” in Igbo, shea butter is also extensively produced in Ode-Giwa, Asa Local Government Area, and also in; Ilorin East, Ilorin West, Ilorin South and Moro Local Government Areas of Kwara State [Kwara State is the second largest producer of shea butter after Niger State] and produces an estimated 10% of Nigeria’s shea butter production.

According to Mr Temitope Amujo, chairman of Quara, Kwara State government in cooperation with the National Agency for Orientation [NOA] provided favorable conditions for the company’s take-off.

Shea Butter Production
Shea Butter Production

“We launched the Savior-Shea campaign with a single mandate to plant 100,000 shia trees, provided 500,000 rural women in the community and achieved zero poverty in the state. This should ensure a safe climate; and to achieve this, we acquired land in the area of local government of Kayama to create the first commercial plantation of Shia and to develop the first Shia center, called Kaiama Shea Hub [KaSH].”

“We recently discovered that the Shia tree is one of the endangered species that have been severely affected by deforestation because of its high quality for the production of charcoal.

“Our main goal now is to prevent the cutting of Shia trees into production of charcoal, to grow new trees and establish another Shia center. Amujo said that the vision is to create at least 300 local jobs and attract foreign investment in the development of the value chain of Shia in the state. He said that about N30 million was introduced to the company N12 million Grants, N10 million of private investment and N8 million in the form of liability.”

Speaking at the 11th International Shea Industry Conference organise by the Global Shea Alliance [GSA], which was held in March in Abuja, Nigeria, tagged “Shea 2018” with the theme “Going Further Together”. Nigeria’s Minister of State for Industry and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar revealed that Nigeria’s largely untapped Shea butter market can yield $3 billion annually, the Global Shea Alliance [GSA] Conference 2018 is mirrored the limitless and the untapped opportunities in the shea butter production in Nigeria, industry products and reduce trade barriers.

The Global Shea Alliance is the coordinating body for the development of the shea butter industry worldwide with 400 members from 31 shea producing countries. The conference is an annual gathering of producers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers and other stakeholders in the shea butter industry. Global shea market for chocolate/confectionery is valued at approximately $177 billion while that of cosmetic industry stands at $382 billion.

Director-General of the Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Agency and a member of GSA, Mohammed Kontagora said; “Nigeria, which presently accounts for 57 percent of the global shea with a value of $3 billion, could address its challenge of poverty through shea butter export.”

Mr. Jibril Bokani, President, National Shea Producers Association of Nigeria [NASPAN], said that the total Shea production is estimated at around 600,000m/tones of dry kernels per annum, the Shea industry supports employment for more than 16 million women across 21 countries in Africa, however Nigeria still lags behind in tapping inherent opportunities in global Shea business.

Also notable in the shea butter production drive is Oyo State government that has established shea butter processing facilities in:

1.Tede and Ilora, Atisbo Local Government Area.

2.Oke-owu and Oje Owode in Saki Local Government Area.

Futurology Of Shea Butter: (Shea Butter Production)

Shea butter is women driven, in this regard, The Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research [NIFOR], Benin has decided to assist with a hybrid shea tree that can produce better and improved shea butter. In purview of this, Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research [NIFOR] has open Shea Butter Research Substation in Bida, Niger State in partnership with National Cereal Research Institute [NCRI], Badeggi, Niger State to help come out with improve seedlings of shea butter.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s Palm Oil Import: How NIFOR Failed On Its Mandate

Also National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization [NCAM], Ilorin is partnering with Kwara State government in coming out with better & improved shea butter seeds.

NEXIM Bank had in March 2015 approved about $5.8 million to Ladgroup Limited to set up a shea nut processing factory. The facility, which covered equipment finance [$2.8 million] and working capital [$3 million], helped the company to purchase and install a shea butter refining unit, a step down transformer and to augment its working capital base.

The factory is dedicated to sourcing and processing of shea nuts into shea butter for sale to both domestic and export markets. Ladgroup said; “It’s target was on major European importing companies in the confectionery & chocolate as well as cosmetics & pharmaceutical industries in Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and UK, which have a combined import capacity of over 95,000 metric tons annually.”


1.Repair Damaged Hair.

2.Excellent Lip Care.

3. Helps Soothe Skin And Baby Diaper Rash

4. Reduces Stretch Marks

5. Reduce Razor Irritation And Bumps

6. Restores The Elasticity Of The Skin

7. Provides Relief To Itchy And Peeling Skin

8. Anti-Aging And Anti-Free Radical Agent

9. Reduces Skin Inflammation

10. Treats Acne And Blemishes

11. Moisturizes Dry Skin

12. Soothes Dry And Itchy Scalp

13. Effective Natural Conditioner

14. Keep Rebel Curls In Place

15. Prevents Hair Loss

16. Soothes Muscle Ache

17. Treats Split Ends And Breakage

18. Nasal Inflammation And Nasal Congestion

19. Helps Treat Diarrhea

20. Lowers Cholesterol

21. Wound Healing

22. Insect Bites

23. Dermatitis, Psoriasis, And Eczema

24. UV Protection

25. Rheumatism

Shea Butter Recipes:

1. Body Butter Lotion

2. Lavender Mint Lip Balm

Supply Value Chain Players: There are a wide range of stakeholders in the shea industry:

Shea Butter Production
Shea Butter Production

1.Village pickers and post-harvest processors of dry kernel.

2.Local buying agents [LBAs].

3.Rural or urban traditional butter processors.

4.Large-scale exporters of shea kernel.

5.Large-scale processors [mechanical extraction and export] of shea butter based ‘in-country’.

6.Small-scale entrepreneurs formulating cosmetics based on shea butter in Africa.

7.External [US, EU, India and Japan] large- scale buyers and processors of kernel and butter.

8.External entrepreneurs or companies formulating cosmetics based in shea butter.

9.External entrepreneurs or companies formulating edible products, including Cocoa Butter Equivalents [CBEs] or Cocoa Butter Improvers [CBIs] based in shea butter.

Shea Butter Production In Nigeria is a $72 million yearly potential earnings from ‘Shea Nuts’ production untapped and largely women driven business.


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