Nigeria has become the fourth largest producer of cashew in the world. This is according to the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN).
NCAN President, Tola Fasheru who visited the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar in Abuja, on Thursday, 11th of January 2018, said cashew farmers in the country earned N123 billion ($402 million) from the export of the cash crop in 2017 and between 2015 and 2017, they earned N284.5bn ($813.05m) in foreign exchange from the exportation of cashew.
The association revealed that Nigeria produced 220,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts out of World’s total of 2.1 million tonnes in 2017 and exported 120,000 metric tonnes in the same year.
Fasheru called on the federal government to save the industry from folding by creating initiatives such as the provision of incentives to farmers to expand their trade and protection of farms against encroachment from foreigners.
He also requested that the federal government should include the provision of N20 billion loans to the farmers to expand their trade. There is also an urgent need to address the persistent gridlock in Apapa, Lagos that affects exports and the provision of 2.6 million jute bags for bagging cashew nuts this year.
The NCAN president noted that export earnings from the cash crop have witnessed a steady increase in the last two years, rising from $ 152, 000,000 in 2015, to $259,000,000 in 2016 and $402, 050,000 in 2017.
He revealed that NCAN’s major trading partners include the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), USAID/NEXTT. It also collaborates with the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).
Fasheru commended efforts by the federal government towards making the crop a major revenue earner, adding that Nigerian cashew nuts are highly sought-after in the international markets.