Why the shea butter business is no longer booming in Kwara
Shea butter producers in Kwara State lamented the lack of value addition and the absence of a ready market for industry growth and standardization.
A cross section of Kwara farmers who spoke out on the issue called for government intervention to ensure the state realizes its full potential in shea butter cultivation.
A farmer, Ajara Saidu said, “It is necessary for the government to provide improved seedlings and processing machinery to increase yields,” adding that security has been a major issue for them in Kaiama local government area.
She added, “In one day, we can produce a pool of shea butter seeds, but with a machine, we can have 10. We are now in her period, but we need security to pick the seeds in the Bush.
Additionally, Jumai Abdulmumini, another farmer from Nuku, another community in Kaiama, said, “We don’t have motors to grind the seeds; and bush burning, logging activities and deforestation affect us.
“Due to increased interest in soybean production, farmers are now cutting down shea butter trees to allow sunlight to reach them as they are planted together.”
The President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kwara State Chapter, Usman Mahmud Aboki, on his part said, “We are facing the challenge of lack of market for the produce as middlemen have taken purchase control at a very high fraud rate. in the basins at the rate of 3,000 N, instead of kilograms. There is no market for it despite its medicinal and economic value.
“We have them in large quantities but we do not exploit them for commercial purposes because the government does not provide an enabling environment for the farmers.
“There are no industries and access to loans for women to compete with market forces outside their localities. A farmer cannot afford to bring his shear butter to Ilorin from Kaiama to Ogbomosho due to the problem of insecurity and bad roads, but rather wait and sell at a low price. They don’t even know where the market is.
Aboki said shea butter processing was still archaic in Kwara. “We still follow the Stone Age tradition of picking the seeds, boiling them and roasting them in a local pot before grinding them locally.
“Government should place industries at the doorstep of farmers to have easy access and ready markets at local government headquarters each.
“For the moment, there is no added value because the locations of the farms are not passable, coupled with the question of security.
“There is also a need for the government to partner with bodies like NCAM to purchase machinery made for farmers at a heavily subsidized rate, to be installed in villages for peasant farmers to hull, boil and add value to. seeds,” he added. .
“We must stop using chemicals for fishing”
A traditional leader in Nasarawa state, Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, has advised people in his estate and other Nigerians against using chemicals in fishing.
Abdullahi, the ‘Ehimega Opand, said it was to avoid water pollution and in the interests of people’s health.
The first-class traditional ruler gave the advice while addressing his subjects at his palace in Umaisha, Toto local government area of the state.
He lamented the pollution of the river in the region by the use of chemicals for fishing and called for a change of attitude.
Abdullahi called on his people and other Nigerians not to stand idle but embrace agriculture, fishing and trade to be self-reliant and contribute positively to the development of society.
He said the call had become imperative because of the importance of agriculture for human and societal development.
“Agriculture and trade provide food, employment and improve people’s standard of living,” he said.
He praised Governor Abdullahi Sule for his security efforts in the region, which he said have improved significantly.
He said the governor had done a lot for the people in terms of security, which was the major challenge in the past.
“Now, thanks to his tireless efforts, our people are secure and you can travel day and night without any fear of attack. We thank him for that,” he added.
The royal father also appreciated the development efforts of the government, especially in attracting investors to the region.
The traditional leader called on his people to support and cooperate with the government to achieve success. (NOPE)