16 March 2021 By James Itodo
The Senate says the Shea sector will diversify the nation’s economy if properly harnessed.
Senator Bima Enagi representing Niger south stated this today during plenary while leading the debate on the general principles of the Bill for an Act to establish the National Shea Development Council.
Enagi said that Nigeria was not just the leading producer of raw shea nuts globally but also the nation with the largest stock of shea trees in parklands.
“The Shea sector with the proper organisation and investment can support government’s effort to diversify the economy,” he said.
The lawmaker explained that different parts of the tree were usually used in various industries for several products.
According to him, the wood of the Shea tree has some benefits, the roots and bark are used as an alternative medicine as well as pesticides in crop production.
He noted that establishment of a National Shea Development Council would provide the needed road map in harnessing the immense economic value of the entire Shea tree especially with a dedicated Shea Research Institute as part of the components of the proposed Shea Council.
Enagi said the present global annual demand for shea was valued at about $4 billion and was projected to be over $10 billion by 2030.
In his remarks, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan referred the Bill to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for further legislative input and to report back in four weeks.