The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) said it would train local Shea nut pickers, processors and cosmetic producers in Gombe State on the production of the commodity for export.
Mrs Ruth Indagawa, the Project Officer, Development of Shea Butter for Domestic Industry and Export in the council made this known on Friday in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Indagawa said that the council would organise the training in collaboration with National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN) for the production of the commodity to meet global standard.
The association is the umbrella body for development of Shea Butter in the country.
“The RMRDC on Nov. 7 and 8 will be holding a training to build the capacity of Shea nut pickers and processors on the production of Shea butter cosmetics.
“The cosmetics include body cream, lotion, hair cream, balm, black soap.
“The event is to bring together all value chain actors in the Shea sector to discuss how to develop the sector so that products from Nigeria will be able to compete with products across the globe,” she said.
She however decried the long gestation period of 25 years of Shea nut, which could delay harvest and production, adding that the council was working to reduce period.
“The normal gestation period of Shea nuts is 25 years, which is too long a period to wait after planting,’’ she said.
“The council has a demonstration farm in Gawu, Abaji Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory to reduce the gestation period of Shea nuts to five years,’’ she said.
Indagawa recalled that the council produced improved varieties of Shea nuts to cut off 20 years of waiting and planted 400 seedlings which were still being monitored.
NAN reports that the management of the RMRDC sets up committees for the improvement and processing of strategic raw materials in the country.
The raw materials include development of sweet sorghum value chain, development of Shea Butter for domestic industry and export, developing the Nigeria Bee Keeping industry for Honey Hives, among other raw materials.