Nigeria Earns N284billion As 4th Largest Cashew Producer
Nigeria has emerged the 4th largest cashew producer in the world with a production of about 220,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts out of a total sum of 2.1 million tonnes in the world last year. The figures were declared by the President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Tola Fasheru, when he visited the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Aisha Abubakar, in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, cashew farmers in the country earned a sum of N123 billion ($402 million) from the export last year and between 2015 and 2017, earned about $813.05m (N284.5bn) in foreign exchange from the exportation of cashew.
The President, therefore, called on the Federal Government to save the industry from collapse through initiatives such as the provision of incentives to farmers in order for them to expand their trade and also protect their farms against foreign encroachment.
Fasheru also pleaded to the Federal Government to include the provision of N20 billion loans to the farmers to expand their trade, urgent need to address the persistent gridlock in Apapa, Lagos which affects exports as well as the provision of 2.6 million jute bags for bagging cashew nuts this year.
The NCAN boss disclosed further that export earnings from cashew nuts 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 respectively.
He also revealed that the major trading partners of NCAN are the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), African Cashew Alliance (ACA), USAID/NEXTT, while also collaborating with the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).
Fasheru also commended the efforts of the Federal Government to making cashew a major revenue earner in the country, adding that Nigerian cashew nuts are one of the highly sought-after in the international market.
In response, Ms. Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government towards continuous support for the cashew farmers.
She also commended NCAN for contributing to the growth of the cashew industry value chain and the growth of the economy through job creation and foreign exchange earnings.
The minister further promised that the ministry would partner with other agencies to tackle the challenges facing the cashew farmers and exporters.