The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in collaboration with the Netherlands has launched a capacity building training for Shea producers to add value to their products and ensure deeper penetration in the regions and international market.

The Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak said this Wednesday in Abuja, during the Nigeria sustainable Shea programme in partnership with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).

According to Yakusak, the 3-year programme which is expected to translate into 30 to 40 per cent increase in the country’s earning, is also targeted at employment generation.

He said the trainees will be properly certified to gain access to the export market after the capacity building workshop.

“We brought this people from CBI, Netherlands. They are going to be here for about a week or so to ensure that these people are trained on how to processed their shea products and also add value, because we are tired of exporting raw commodities. We want to add value. Value addition will generate employment and lead to industrialisation and brings in more value of our product.

“One of the things we are doing to improve the productivity of stakeholder is that after the training, we will identify them and ensure that they get the certification that is required to access each and every market.

“At the end of the day, we are projecting that there will be 30 to 40 per cent of what we are already earning from the Shea market. Like I said, when you export raw materials, you get little or nothing but when you add value, or process, you are going to generate employment, and Shea is a commodity-based product. We also want to empower women and youth,” Yakusak said.

He reiterated that Nigeria’s Shea remains the best across the globe and all efforts are geared towards harnessing the potential and appropriate packaging for the international marketing.

Also speaking, the Project Manager of CBI Netherlands, Dorianne Wegen said the training is aimed at turning potentials in Nigeria into value addition and better market penetration at the end of the programme.

“So I think what would make me extremely proud in this programme, is if we can really work on not talking about potential in 2025, but really looking at increased exports, increased linkages to the European Union, increased linkages regionally, more processing here in the country, more value added, more certified products.

“I think we should be working on the value addition all the way through the supply chain so that it could benefits exporters, producers all the way down to women. Also, it is quite well known that working with women has a multiplier effects. The multiplier being that when women have increased incomes, it has added benefits for their households and communities at large,” she said.

She identified SMEs, cooperatives and producer groups in the value chain as the major pillars of the programme and also those producing the products.