No fewer than 500,000 women in rural communities will be empowered by Kaiama Shea Butter Company for the proposed planting of one million Shea butter trees across the state.
Mr Temitope Amujo, the Chairman of the Company, said this while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin on Monday.
According to him, the state government, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), had provided the enabling environment for the take-off of the company in the state.
“We launched the Save-the-Shea campaign with the sole mandate of planting 100,000 Shea trees, empower 500,000 rural women in communities and achieve zero poverty in the state.
“This is to ensure safe climate; and to achieve this, we have acquired land in Kaiama Local Government Area to establish the first commercial Shea plantation and develop the first Shea Hub, called Kaiama Shea Hub (KaSH).
“We recently discovered that Shea tree is one of the endangered species that is seriously affected by deforestation activities because of its high quality for charcoal production.
“Our major target now is to discourage cutting of Shea trees for charcoal production, plant new trees and establish another Shea hub.’’
Amujo said that the specific vision was to create a minimum of 300 local jobs and attract foreign investment in Shea value chain development in the state.
He said that about N30 million has been injected into the company — N12 million in grant, N10 million sourced from private investment and N8 million in liability.
The Shea butter processing plant was established in 2014.