‘From Shea butter, I’m planning to introduce tamarind soap’
Meet Dr. Ladi Shambo from Niger State, who is into value addition of any kind of agric produce. She exhibited some of her products during the first Daily Trust Agric Confab Tuesday. In this interview, she shares her dreams for the future. Excerpts:
Tell us about products you exhibiting here. I’m into Shea butter cosmetics. Already, I have about twenty products-100% Shea butter, perfumed Shea butter, herbal soap, plain soap, Shea moringa soap and so on.
How do you get your raw materials?
I thank God and our former governor. I get them from Niger State because the former governor empowered rural women that produce Shea, so quality Shea is readily available in Niger state.
Are the Shea butter trees something you grow or get from the bush?
They grow wild in the bush and the women go to pick. When you plant the tree it takes 27 years to produce and that is why it is not good to cut it anyhow. I hope the federal government will enact a law prohibiting fellinjg of the tree anyhow.
Do you the are
really have the machinery to process these crops into standard finished products?
In fact, presently, the demand is getting high for me. I need to get bigger machines to expand. People are beginning now to use natural products instead of artificial ones. With the small and medium scale funds, I
will be able to expand.
Have you ever accessed the fund?
Well, I have not but Bank of Industry made me what I am today and I’m ever grateful because I benefited from BoI and I am happy the way I am today. I have travelled to about eight countries including France, London, South Africa and so on. I thank God.
In all these products you add value to, which one puts more money into your pocket?
The Shea herbal soap, body cream and hair cream, also the pain reliever, the demand is high too.
How do you plan to expand in order to meet this demand for your products?
I am just waiting for my NAFDAC number, the moment I get it by the grace of God; I will seek for the loan and then expand.
Are you also planning to introduce new product?
Yes. Already I have introduced new the black liquid soap shampoo. I’m planning to introduce tamarind soap and I’m also planning to introduce liquid soap of Shea.
Some of the products you have here are well packaged. Do you collaborate with other partners?
No. It took me years because that’s my passion. I like to rebrand-I keep on rebranding until I’m able to reach this stage. I love what I’m doing that is why I’m able to reach this way.
Where does your market lies at the moment?
So far so good, you see, in Nigeria alone, if everybody can understand that Shea butter is natural and is good for the skin, even Abuja alone I cannot satisfy the market.
Dr. Ladi Shambo (left) attends to customers at her stand at the Daily Trust agric conference and exhibition in Abuja yesterday.