NIGERIA – Kwara, a state in Western Nigeria, has approved the contract for the construction of a 2.5 billion Naira (US$5.5 million) shea nut processing factory in the Kaiama local government area.

The move is part of the state government’s efforts to hasten industrialization, provide more jobs for the people, and widen the state’s economic base.

According to a report by This Day Live, the state’s executive council has already approved the contract for the construction of a well-equipped 50-ton capacity shea nut processing factory to SAO-Agro Allied Services.

Nigeria is the world leader in the production of shea nuts the states of Kwara and Niger states being the leading producers of the crop.

Currently, the country produces 500,000MT of unrefined shea butter annually (with a trade value of $400,000), and plans are underway to increase its shipments to the international market.

According to Mr. Abubakar Buhari, the state Commissioner for Communication, the processing facility in the Industrial Park is part of the move to hasten industrialization, provide employment opportunities to more than 10,000 women and young people and widen the state’s economic base.

In addition, the project is intended at shifting shea butter processing from the local way, which is cumbersome, unhygienic, and time-consuming, to international standard as stated by Mr. Buhari.

“The establishment of the factory will boost shea production through the adoption of modern processing technologies, empower youth and women, increase the volume of trade and economic activities, and attract more investment,” said Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq, governor of the state.

Still, on the industrialization agenda, the state has also approved the construction of an industrial park worth N1 billion (US$ 2.2) that will occupy 196 hectares of land.

The park will be comprised of residential buildings, a facility manager’s house, a wood processing section, an agro-processing section, a commercial section, metal and minerals processing, and a green area, among others.

The governor further disclosed that the council approved the award of the first phase of the industrial park to a local contractor, Messrs Fab Confidential Ltd.

The first phase comprises the perimeter fence, entrance gate and lay-by, concrete pavement (road, drainage, and car park), and power supply.

The establishment of the Shea nut processing factory will boost agricultural output through the adoption of modern processing technologies, empower youths and women folks and reduce poverty.

It will also increase the volume of trade and economic activities, attract more investments, and transform Kwara into a more viable state,” he noted.The Export Promotion Council (NEPC), whose mandate is coordinating and harmonizing export development and promotion activities in the country wishes to increase the industry’s export earnings by approximately 40% by 2025

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.