The major glut that hit the cashew industry has plunged revenue from the cash crop, running into several billions of naira, a development considered as a big blow to farmers, exporters and other stakeholders in the cashew value-chain. According to the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Kogi State alone, adjudged the largest cashew producing state, generating about 100 metric tonnes (mt) of the total estimated 220mt cashew nuts exported from the country yearly, with direct foreign revenue of over N70b, has had its revenue reduced drastically to less than N20b, losing N50b discount in the last few months. Due to lack of capacity, storage of cashew fruits has also become an issue, as an estimated eight million tonnes of the fruits are wasted yearly.Coupled with this is the rejection of 37,000mt of the commodity exported to Vietnam, regarded as the largest processor, in addition to 67,000mt reportedly stuck in warehouse in Nigeria.
“We should understand that when it comes to cashew processing, the market for the finished product is global. So as a government, as a people, we should be able to invest in quality equipment to sustain and deliver on high quality. So, we have to ensure that we don’t just invest in equipment, but we invest in quality and durable equipment, so that we don’t just put equipment and tomorrow they’ll become moribund. “Based on antecedents of government, it is better they allow private investors to own their processing plants, give them all the support-finance, land, better policies, infrastructure, and other things. I think that is the way to go, not promises without action.”
SOURCE: BusinessAgro The Guardian Newspaper