The federal government has disclosed that Nigeria generated over $250 million from cashew nuts export in 2022.
This was made known by Mohammed Abubakar, minister of agriculture and rural development at the Nigerian cashew day and cashew season event.
Represented by Ernest Umakhihe, permanent secretary of the ministry, Abubakar added that the crop is also expected to bring about $500 million to farmers in 2023.
The programme, themed, “industrialising the Nigeria cashew sector through inclusive policies”, was held on Tuesday in Abuja.
Abubakar said the agro-product has grown in importance as an export-oriented cash crop since the 1990s and have become an important source of non-oil export income.
“It is estimated to represent over 10 percent of GDP based on export data of 2022 and it is becoming a commercial crop in Nigeria and is cultivated in 27 states including the FCT,” NAN quoted Abubakar as saying.
“In realisation of the importance of cashew, the federal government through the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, listed cashew as a priority crop.
“It is being promoted under the import substitution strategy of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Abubakar said cashew was among the crops being promoted under the value chain programme of the ministry.
“The ministry had carried out a number of activities over the years to promote the growth of the value chain in the country including the distribution of improved seeds/seedlings to cashew farmers free of charge,” he said.
“Establishment of cashew cottage industries in some states, distribution of agro-chemicals/growth enhancers, carbon free jute bags and knapsack sprayers.
“Others were provision of water pumps to cashew farmers, conducting capacity building/training for cashew farmers and having sensitisation exercises.”
On his part, Ojo Ajanaku, president, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), said the country is steadily becoming an export hub, taking over at least 11 percent of the country’s foreign exchange trading over the past three years.
“This implies that the sector has the potential to drive national revenue generation, increase job creation and diversify the economy,” he said.
Ajanaku said more than 3 million people in Nigeria, especially women, have become cashew producers, driving the sector among male producers.
“NCAN’s long term goal is to transform Nigeria from a low-priced commodity producer to a reliable supplier and exporter of high quality cashew products, adopt indigenous innovations and policies that will drive the sector,” he said.
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