The Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) has disclosed that steps are underway to modernise shea butter production in three communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Communities to benefit include Nuku and Rimba community in Abaji area council, as well as Rubochi community in Kuje area council.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop yesterday, the chief executive officer, AEA, Ms Altine Jibrin, pointed out that the initiative with the theme, ‘One Village One Product’ was aimed at boosting shea butter production in Abuja and environs.
“The local technique of shea butter production by these communities is crude and it often reduces the market value of the product, hence the need to take steps to modernise the production process. I believe that this will bring a lot of development to the community,” she said.
She further stated that before Shea butter, the agency had already started looking at other products on the FCT food map, which were unique to certain communities.
The products, according to Jibrin, include local beans, sesame and melon among others, adding that shea was being used as a pilot study because it has wide acceptance all over the world.
Jibrin maintained that experts would be brought in to train the natives on how best to handle the product to meet international standards.
“To complement this, we would bring in new sets of machines composed of a processor, miller, crusher, roaster and a Leister engine to power the machines. This would be distributed to the three communities to boost their production,” she added.
The Madaki of Nuku village, Mr. Ezekiel John, lauded the initiative, noting that it was a direct intervention that would help reduce poverty, as it would provide an avenue for the women to be self-employed.
The village head of Rimba community, Mr. Daniel Tukura, noted that the shea butter producers were incapacitated because of lack of modern machines to work with and pointed out that the machines when provided would boost production.
He also appealed to the government to assist the village through the provision of potable water to further boost shea production in the community.