Story of Shea Butter Uganda ® :
Shea Nuts tree is only found in the tropics of Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 20 years; and can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this irremovable fatty acid that gives Shea Butter its unique healing properties and makes it far superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters.
Shea nut trees, Vitellaria Nilotica species, are grown naturally in Northern part of Uganda, starting right from a little part of eastern and up to West Nile part of Uganda. Also some part of Southern Sudan. There is no historical evidence of any commercial production of shea butter in Uganda, until recently, in 1997, Mr. Surjit Singh-of GURU NANAK OIL MILLS(U)LTD (GNOM). explored it and found it a very interesting product, un tapped natural resource in Uganda. GNOM- spent a lot of time and money on research, processing techniques, product development, products modifications, new techniques to preserve the natural healing properties of shea butter during processing, maximum yield extraction technology, cosmetics products developments out of shea butter, like various cosmetic creams, lotions, moisturizers, shea soaps etc. GNOM has invested about 4 million USD in this project in plant and machinery, land, building, organic collection and processing training, Organic and Fiar Trade certification. and other infrastructure of the company. Today GNOM exports shea butter Uganda® world wide, earning foreign exchange for the country and has created 100 direct employments and 2000 direct farmers beneficiaries of the project. GNOM manufactures certified organic shea butter since 2006.
It was very hard to start a new project, when there was political unrest in northern part of Uganda, mostly where shea nut trees are grown- KONY WAR in northern Uganda for more than 20 years has effected the livelihood of people in north, people left their house, many were killed, abducted, young girls were abducted and children were taken away and forced to fight for them. People were staying in IDP-CAMPS, houses were burnt, animals/cattles were taken away by rebels. It was unsafe area of operation for business.
We found people are cutting down trees to produce charcoals for cooking and there was no protection of shea nut trees. GNOM- working with farmers, local community in up country and is protecting the natural eco system and environmental protection of our country and approached to the government to protect those valuable trees.
Shea nut trees takes 20 to 25 years to bear fruits and then continue to give fruit for rest of his life, almost 300 years. Shea nut trees are very hard wood, wild trees.
Natural process of shea nut trees bearing fruits:
1 shea nut young tree:
SHEA NUT TREE BEAR FLOWERS: FLOWERING:
SHEA NUT TREE NOW FRUITING – GREEN FRUIT, VERY SWEET, CHILDREN LIKE IT EAT IT AND BIRDS ALSO LIKE IT.
RIPE FRUITS FALL ON GROUND AND ARE COLLECTED BY FARMERS:
SHEA NUTS ARE DESHELED MANUALLY:
SHEA NUTS READY FOR FURTHER PROCESSING:
SHEA BUTTER UGANDA® BULK PACK FOR EXPORT: