Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Agric. Minister Laments Low Rate of Cashew Processing

Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubarkar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, lamented that out of the 250,000 metric tone of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria annually, only about 10% is processed locally, leading to exportation of Nigerian jobs to other countries.

Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubarkar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, lamented that out of the 250,000 metric tone of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria annually, only about 10% is processed locally, leading to exportation of Nigerian jobs to other countries.

This lamentation was made at the lunch of Nigeria Cashew Day and 2023 Cashew Season flag-off Ceremony in Benin City, Edo state capital, by the minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.

Nigeria is among 5th largest producer of cashew in Africa with Ivory Coast taking the lead. Today Africa produces more than 50% of raw cashew nuts in the world, and about 90% of African production is exported, mainly to Vietnam and India.

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The minster disclosed that cashew nuts exported from Nigeria at the end of 2022 generated over $250million which accounted for about 10% of the country’s agricultural export, adding that cashew nuts export is expected to fetch Nigerian farmers about $500million this year.

He disclosed that cashew has become a commercial crop in Nigeria and is cultivated in 27 States of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and that in realization of it importance, the Federal Government has listed it as a priority crop to be promoted under the Import Substitution Strategy.

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state, represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Stephen Idehenre, on his own showed optimism that the state government’s hope is to see the event attract more investors, impact knowledge and harmonize cashew industry for the gain of the state economy .

The National President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Prince Ojo Joseph Ajanaku, pointed out that cashew growth in Nigeria has been steadily expanding over the last 3 years by 11%, adding that more than 3 million people in Nigeria, mostly women, works in the cashew sector.

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