Last year, Nigeria generated $253 million (that’s billions of naira- N50bn actually), from exporting Cashew nuts.
This is according to Tola Faseru, President of National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN).
Faseru spoke on Monday during the cashew planting season flag-off and roll out of Cashew Expansion Programme of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture at Ife, Osun State.
Nigeria is the sixth largest cashew producer in the world after Ivory Coast, India, Vietnam, Tanzania and Guinea Bissau. At the moment, Nigeria produces about 160,000 metric tonnes of cashew every year.
Nigeria’s target is to move production to to 500,000 tonnes by 2020, and also be able to develop a processing capacity of 70 per cent which is about 350,000 metric tonnes, Faseru said.
Cashew is currently grown in over 21 states of the federation, including Ebonyi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Cross River, Edo, Nassarawa, Benue, Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Osun , Ondo, Ekiti, Delta, Akwa Ibom , FCT and Niger. It can however, be grown in all parts of the country.
Cashew is one of the 13 Non-oil Strategic Export Products (NSEPs), which are to be used to diversify the economy away from oil under the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.