‘How Shea Butter Production Can Be Improved’
Shea butter farmers in Kwara State said they have discovered that bush burning can increase its yields and management.
The farmers said this while speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday on their preparation for the season in the state.
Speaking through their leader, Hajia Memuna Yunusa, the farmers called on the state government to give the necessary attention to Shea butter farming to curb the unemployment rate and increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
According to her, we are looking towards a very good harvest this season than last year because most of the Shea butter trees produced more seeds this time.
“This improvement can be attributed to rain and the discovery that bush burning assist in the growth and production of the seeds.
“If we carry out bush burning at the appropriate time, the tree will shed its leaves on time for fresh ones to grow which will quicken the production of its fruits. Once the shedding of leaves exceeds it time, the tree will not produce well.
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“Initially we didn’t know this until recently and that is why we usually embarked on bush burning on time for the tree to shed its leaves to produce increased fresh seeds that will boost Shea butter production. We cut down some trees which we noticed have reduced in seed production to increase the circulation of air in the farm.
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“We are already looking at a good harvest this year ahead of its season that starts from June. In the next few weeks, we should be picking seedlings that would have dropped on the field once they are ripe,” she added.
Memuna said “Before, the government used to buy from us at any price but now that we have known the process, we take it to the market ourselves after extracting the ones we will consume as food.”
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She said a basin of the Shea butter seeds is now sold for N9,000 but around N3,000 to N4,000 during the harvest period.
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“We inherited most of the plantations from our fathers and husbands. We heard the government is doing something about Shea butter planting in Kwara and as one of the local government areas that is known for its production, we will be very interested and looking forward to it,” she submitted.