FAO in Nigeria

FAO train villagers on Balanites oil extraction, packaging for better livelihoods

Most Balanites oil producers in Kano use a relatively effective home grown method for extraction of the product, concerns of safety and hygiene are overwhelming. Photo ©FAO/David Tsokar

Abuja, Nigeria - For effective rural poverty eradication, initiatives to empower communities with capacities to utilize available resources for economic advancement and sustainable livelihoods, needs to be harnessed. This is achievable through value chain development and improvement on the existing benefits.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council of Nigeria (RMRDC) organized a four-day capacity building workshop from 9th – 14th December 2019 on Balanites oil extraction and packaging for over 40 village technicians drawn from rural communities within the three European Union (EU) funded Action Against Desertification (AAD) target states – Bauchi, Jigawa and Sokoto.

Primarily aimed at enhancing livelihoods of the participants, the objective is to enable these rural beneficiaries utilize the knowledge acquired to take advantage of the available resources at their disposal for economic gains and livelihood sustainability. Essentially, the AAD project targets to protect and restore ecosystem and essential services that are key to  reducing poverty, strengthening food security, enhancing sustainable livelihood and increase resilience of communities to climate change.

The Country Representative of FAO Suffyan Koroma said achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is tied to rural empowerment, “this is the driving force of FAO in Nigeria and FAO Nigeria is committed to rural empowerment, poverty reduction as well as food and nutrition security. This is achievable through capacity building for the people to take advantage of the available resources”.

Initiative will boost rural economy - Partners

The Director General of RMRDC Professor Hussein Ibrahim said the training is coming at the right time as it aims to improve rural livelihoods and improve their income, this will not only give a boost to rural economy but will also transform lives.

Represented by the Head Energy and Fuels Material Development Division Fausta Ogbuefi Chima, he noted “the project will create jobs, save the environment and above all add value to raw materials and provide same for industries.  This in a nutshell is our target” to develop raw materials for our industries”.

The GGW DG Bukar Hassan said the AAD project beside the target to restore degraded land in the three selected states has supported the improvement of life and the economy with water project, used for domestic consumption and irrigation in agriculture.

‘Adwa’ as Balanites seed is called in Hausa is consumed locally as a staple, but the oil is used for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Essentially, when properly harnessed, the income from the after product more than doubles the value of the unprocessed seed.

To lay the foundation, the AAD approach to Large-scale land restoration and promote Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) value chain nexus was explained to the participants. They were shown various oil seeds, techniques for oil extraction from the seed and production of value added products of Balanites.

Other topics explained were sites and equipment selection for Balanites Production and market intelligence information for proper market positioning and customer service delivery for Balanites products.


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David Karls Tsokar

National Communication Officer

+234 806 616 2876