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Nigeria will earn N200bn annually from cashew production

The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) has said that Nigeria will earn about N200 billion annually if it invests heavily in cashew production. The National President, NCAN, Mr. Tola Faseru, explained that currently, the cashew industry is generating over N23 billion for the country, adding that the sector has the capacity to increase its revenue to the economy in ten folds if given the desired attention and encouragement. Faseru while addressing a press briefing said that cashew is a national product that can grow well in most part of the country saying that Nigeria presently export about 95 percent of its cashew unprocessed.

“We are adding no value to our cashew by exporting it raw, there is no room for wealth creation and job creation if we continue like this, in the next three years, we will reduce that by about 50 per cent because we are working with various partners both locally and internationally to achieve this feat,” he said. The National president said Nigeria is currently ranked 5th globally in Africa after Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Tanzania. He however stated that the process of storage in Nigeria is very poor, noting that most cashew farmers store cashew nuts in polypropylene bags thereby reducing the value of cashew produced in the country. As a result of this, he called on the Federal Government to approve a duty waiver on jute bags to enable cashew farmers store and produce high quality cashew in the country.

“We are working with the Federal Government to assist us in getting jute bags for our cashew farmers at affordable prices in order to boost cashew production in the country. The Nigerian cashew industry will touch people’s lives more than any other non-oil products grown in most states in the nation,” he said. He also said that the association is working on improving the regulation of the cashew industry in order to protect its shareholder from being short-changed by people who cut corners in the industry. According to him, to achieve these heights, the association had laid out a cashew road map which is inclusive of all stakeholders in Nigeria cashew industry aimed at building a worthwhile and sustainable environment for all.

He stated that to improve profitability in the Nigerian cashew industry, the association will be developing marketing channels for cashew farmers to export all that they produce, noting that it had already started working out bilateral and multilateral relationships with different trade associations globally. He also stressed the need for an effective integration of all the stakeholders in the value chain, adding that it would liaise effectively with the federal government to be a critical partner in the transformation agenda of Mr. President to transform Nigeria from a mono product economy to a diversified economy. Faseru said the association had undergone a lot of changes since its inception 15 years ago, stressing that it is poised to take the association to greater height. He said the association would be providing an enabling environment for all cashew stakeholders in the country to compete anywhere in the value chain of the industry.

“We want to help in providing the enabling environment in areas such as financing for some of our exporters to export what they have and encourage cashew consumption in the country,” he said. He said the Nigeria cashew industry can be improved with better access to capital, technical assistance and links to international kernel buyers, also stressing that the raw nuts face a discount on the international market because of relatively lower outturn and a poor reputation. He stated that the association is working closely with the Bank of Industry (BOI), commercial banks and the Raw Material Research Development Council (RMRDC) in getting machineries at affordable prices that would be used in processing cashew nut.

He said Nigeria currently produces about 100,000 tonnes of cashew nut saying that in another three years, the association will be moving the production of cashew nut to about 200,000 tonnes per annum. The association leader said improving the quality is an important aspect the association is focusing on maintaining that cashew nut is an international product and must meet international standard. In his words, “Nigeria cashew nut commands the lowest price in the world because of its quality and we are going to see to it that we take our pride of place.


Source: thisdaylive.com

Publication date: 12/20/2011


 


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