Can First Ladies use position to promote Nigeria’s agro-ecological sustainability?

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Since 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, his policy and model of economic development has been hinged on two key sectors to help diversify the economy and reduce its reliance on petroleum, moving the nation from the perennial vulnerabilities suffered by typical mono-commodity economies, including occasional slides into economic recession.

In order to achieve this, he made agriculture and solid minerals the two substitute sectors to end over-reliance on crude oil and gas for revenues to fund budgets, finance projects, and pay for imports across various industrial and consumer needs.

Since agriculture is primarily a rural activity and its sustainability depends on the positive contributions of youthful populations, especially women and children, it is important to coordinate these groups for optimum results.

However, can first ladies use their positions to promote Nigeria’s agro-ecological sustainability?  

 This question deserves urgent attention and quick answers on the grounds that 75 percent of actors in the shea industry are women, especially in the rural areas, according to figures from the Global Shea Alliance.

In order to ensure that this demographic segment benefits maximally from the shea industry market dynamics, a coordinated market structure is necessary across the entire valuechain of the commodity, from collection, transportation, processing, packaging, and export.

Transparency International estimates that, globally, the market will value up to $3.5 billion by 2028, with a cumulative annual growth rate of 5.2 percent over the forcast period.

It further noted that Nigeria could earn $2 billion annually from the shea market, “as a tonne of shea butter costs $5,000,” according to information sourced from the Nigeria Agribusiness Register.

But to ensure that such market value is derived for Nigeria from the shea economy, those who may be better placed to coordinate 75 percent of the actors … Read More...