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GSA vows to address shea industry obstacles

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

Lack of funding, unexplored market potential, others affect the industry.

Speaking at the launch of the 2024 Shea Conference in Abuja, Mamatou Djaffo, President of the Global Shea Alliance (GSA), a non-governmental organization, has declared their steadfast dedication to overcoming the obstacles impeding the growth of the shea industry. The event tagged ‘Bridging the Gap’, serves as a beacon of hope for the advancement of shea-related endeavors. Djaffo stated that GSA is focused on promoting sustainability, maintaining high standards, and establishing benchmarks for shea-based food and cosmetic items. The theme of the conference also highlights the immediate necessity of aligning ambitious industry objectives with concrete measures to tackle critical issues.

Over ten years ago, the GSA took action to support and uplift women within the industry. They have achieved notable progress by continuously improving their methods with the input of shea beneficiaries, Djaffo said. This underlying concept highlights their unwavering commitment to conquering obstacles, cultivating creativity, encouraging cooperation, and empowering women at every stage of the shea value chain. Topics for discussion at the conference, scheduled for 5-7 of March, and will draw attention to significant subjects including the effective handling of parklands, preservation of resources, and enhancing the economic empowerment of women, thereby fully harnessing shea value chains potential.

NASPAN is dedicated to promoting collaboration.

Djaffo cited the primary aim of the event, which is to unite key actors, recognize obstacles to sustainability, and exhibit triumphant undertakings that connect industry aspirations with practicality. Alhaji Mohammed Kontagora, the President of the National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN), endorsed the conference’s theme, emphasizing its alignment with Nigeria’s shea industry objectives. He stated that the industry possesses the capability to provide natural resources, stimulate economic growth, environmental preservation, and setting equality in income.

Kontagora noted several obstacles hindering the industry, such as lack of funding, unexplored market potential, ineffective policies, instability, and social disparities, adding that it is necessary to collaborate in order to discover viable solutions. He reiterated the association’s dedication to promoting collaboration, meaningful discussions, and concrete measures towards a sustainable future for the shea industry in Nigeria. Kontagora urged for commitment to capitalize on the current momentum and foster conditions for a prosperous future in the Nigerian Shea industry, leaving a long term positive influence.

Nearly 2 billion shea trees grow naturally in 21 African nations.

It is projected that the international market would soar from 2.28 billion USD to a remarkable 3.75 billion USD in 2030. As the largest contributor, Nigeria accounts for 53% of the global production. There is a sheer demand for shea, stemming from local consumers, regional industries, and global buyers in the food and cosmetics sectors. Across a parkland in 21 African nations, ranging from Senegal to South Sudan, nearly 2 billion shea trees grow naturally. The shea industry has experienced remarkable growth due to its expanding use in food and cosmetics, as well as increased investment in supply expansion and processing.

With an annual collection of around 800,000 tons, the demand for shea worldwide has soared. GSA, established in 2011, is saddled with the responsibility of developing a more competitive, sustainable, and lucrative shea industry. The organization caters to a global community of 400 members, comprising prominent purchasers of shea kernels and butter, traders, processors, service providers, women’s collectives, famous brands and retailers, as well as nonprofit organizations. GSA dedicates its efforts to enhancing the competitive edge of the shea industry while simultaneously uplifting the lives of African women and their rural communities.

Related Article: Shea nut and butter production in Nigeria 

At present, over half of the entirety of shea exports in West Africa undergo processing into shea butter, shea stearin, and shea olein. This industry plays a vital role in generating employment opportunities and providing much-needed income to underprivileged communities that are frequently disregarded. In its endeavor to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the shea industry in six nations – Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria – the Global Shea Alliance collaborates with and provides assistance to national associations. This alliance aims to harness the combined efforts of both public and private sectors to optimize resources in achieving its goals.

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Ask Nigeria
30 days ago

GSA vows to address shea industry obstacles.Lack of funding, unexplored market potential, others affect the industry. – Express your point of view.

30 days ago

It’s encouraging to see the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) addressing challenges in the shea industry. The commitment to sustainability, women’s empowerment, and overcoming obstacles resonates positively. The upcoming Shea Conference and collaboration with NASPAN demonstrate a united effort to boost the industry. With Nigeria contributing significantly to global shea production, the projected growth to $3.75 billion by 2030 is promising. GSA’s dedication to improving competitiveness and sustainability in West Africa aligns with the aspirations of Nigerians for a thriving shea industry.

Adeoye Adegoke
29 days ago

It’s really encouraging to hear that the GSA is committed to addressing the obstacles faced by the shea industry. Lack of funding and unexplored market potential can definitely hinder the growth and development of this industry. By addressing these challenges, the shea industry can unlock its full potential and create more opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs. It’s important for the government and relevant stakeholders to collaborate and provide the necessary support, such as funding, market research, and infrastructure, to help the shea industry thrive. This will not only benefit the industry itself but also contribute to the economic growth and empowerment of communities involved in shea production. Let’s hope for positive changes and a brighter future for the shea industry!

29 days ago

GSA promises to address barriers facing the shea industry. A few factors affecting the industry are underfunding and untapped market potential. In this battle against barriers that impact the shea sector, GSA deserves praise and encouragement. It is especially important to address the financing shortage as soon as feasible.

29 days ago

Hearing that is incredibly encouraging! Funding shortages and untapped market opportunities may undoubtedly impede its expansion. The shea business can prosper and support local communities while boosting the economy if these obstacles are overcome.