There is more demand for Shea butter than is currently produced. Rural-based women from time immemorial have been using manual traditional methods to process about 60% of all the crude butter produced in Nigeria at a relatively low extraction rate of about 25%. Currently, the production of Shea butter is often done manually in semi-industrial and small 100% industrial scale in Nigeria. One constraint to shea production in West Africa is quality issues. Because West Africa has not enough factories to produce a high-grade quality of Shea butter, the opportunities in export are yet to be adequately tapped.
There is the specific quality of shea butter needed in the international market and it is of ultimate concern to buyers. Buyers want to know the Iodine number, acid and free fatty acid number and other parameters of the shea butter he wants to import.
SOLUTION: We needs to invest more in a high technological and mechanized shea butter processing plant to satisfy the demand.