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Nigerian farmers go big on cashew after exports rise 463%

Nigeria’s cashew farmers are now taking advantage of the federal government’s focus on agriculture to drive growth in non-oil exports and diversify the country’s foreign revenue base and have increased their exports by as much as 463 per cent in the last quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics have shown.

Cashew farmers and exporters are benefiting from improved farming practices and packaging, leading to a significant increase in exports of the produce from the country.

The $315million cashew sub-sector is now playing a key role in boosting the country’s diversification strategy, as export figures between April and June 2017 show that the industry led the agricultural export for the period.

The latest foreign trade report, released by the NBS shows that cashew exports increased by 463 per cent, from N2.4 billion in first quarter 2017 to N13.5 billion in the second quarter of 2017 on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

The crop, which contributed less than two per cent to total agricultural exports in the first quarter, contributed 45.4 per cent to the sectoral export in the second quarter and 8.2 per cent of total non-oil exports. The value makes the product the seventh largest export product in the second quarter of 2017.

Stakeholders say the export numbers are an indication that the cashew industry has the potential to be a major foreign exchange earner for the country.

1 NR = 0.0028 USD

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