Shea Butter & Other Nigerian Products Fall Below Standards - WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaGoogle photos

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has called on Nigeria and other African nations to enhance the quality of their shea exports, as a significant portion of the goods do not meet the required sanitary measures for export.

Despite the clear benefits and advantages in the production of shea, much of the potential of this commodity was still untapped, as it also pointed out. The shea tree is a valuable resource for producing shea butter, which serves as a source of income and can be used for medicinal purposes.

While delivering a virtual address at the 2024 Shea Annual Conference organized by the Global Shea Alliance in Abuja, the Director-General of WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, emphasized the importance of examining the shea value chain beyond farming and processing for butter.

The WTO recognizes shea as one of the main agricultural exports for over eight of its members, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Togo, and exports of shea butter from Ghana alone were valued at over $92m in 2022, with over one million women participating in this sector.

Iweala also mentioned that despite the clear benefits of shea butter, there is still untapped potential and many of our products do not meet the hygiene measures for export, which hinders many countries from exporting.

She suggested examining the shea value chain beyond farming and processing for butter, stating that the organization had been aiding Nigerians and other countries in improving the export of shea products. Okonjo-Iweala emphasized the positive impact on the economies of the nations involved.

At the conference, she informed delegates that the WTO was established with the goal of using trade to enhance living standards, foster job creation, and advance sustainable development.

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