Nigeria is expected to record increase in its cashew nut production in coming years due to renewed focus by the government and increasing demand for the commodity across developed countries and Asia. The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr. Segun Awolowo, stated this during a recent workshop on cashew processing and market information system in Lagos.
According to Awolowo, cashew is expected to yield 175,000 metric tonnes at the end of this year’s trading season, up from a yield of 150,000 metric tonnes in 2015. He added that recent government’s efforts in the development of additional cashew plantations, distribution of improved seedlings to farmers; enforced good agricultural practices were all going to increase output of cashew nuts in Nigeria by 30 per cent in two years.
Nigeria is rated as the 4th largest producer of cashew nuts in Africa and 7th in the world, with the bulk of its raw cashew nuts and cashew kernels exported to Vietnam and India, respectively.
According to the NEPC CEO in 2011, Vietnam imported over $140m worth of RCN and $46m worth of cashew kernel from Nigeria, adding that in recent years, export of Nigeria RCN had been increasing.
The workshop, which was organised by the African Cashew Alliance, USAID West Africa Trade and Investment Hub and USAID/NEXTT Project, unveiled the Cashew Marketing Information System that was developed by ACA to reflect reference pricing for cashew traders and market analysts.
The Accra-based ACA has over a decade, sought to improve the competiveness and sustainability of African cashew industry and increase the processing of cashew on the continent, hoping to increase processing from the current 15% to 30% in the next five years.
“Ultimately, our objective is to facilitate the development of an industry that benefits the entire value chain, from farmer to consumer” Oyewole stated.