The Osun state government has engaged 5,000 women in local soap production with a view to empowering them and connecting them to the international markets.
The programme, conceived in partnership with Kasmo Industries, an indigenous soap making company in Osogbo, is supported with financial impetus from an investor organization in the state.
According to facilitator of the programme, Mr. Rufus Idris, the 5,000 women supply black soap which serves as raw material for the local production of over 6 million bar soaps, “Dudu Kasmo”, for the first phase in the growing Kasmo Soap business.
He said the state government, through GEMS4, a DFID-fund programme, will link expanding market for unique wholesale and retail products from Osun into larger local and international markets. One of the products selected for the programme is Dudu Kasmo.
“The benefits attached to the production of Kasmo soap include capacity building for employed staffs, giving the product more credibility as well as improving the quality and quantity of the goods.
“With GEMS4 support, Kasmo Industries Limited is expected to increase its capacity for raw materials intake from rural women, increasing their production which will in turn increase their income,” Mr. Rufus noted.
The money facilitated through the Central Bank of Nigeria is in collaboration with SMEDAN under the GEMS4 scheme to provide opportunities to itinerant business owners in order to boost their productivity and generate more income for them.
The government, however, reiterated its readiness to track the programme’s impact in the lives of itinerant women local soap makers in Osun state.