Dr. Mohammad Abubarkar, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Nigeria made $250 million from cashew nut exports last year but expressed disappointment that only 10% of the 250,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria each year are processed locally.
Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, spoke on Dr. Abubakar’s behalf yesterday, January 24, at the beginning of cashew season and the celebration of Nigeria Cashew Day in Benin, the capital of Edo State. The theme of the event was “Industrializing the Nigerian Cashew Sector Through Inclusive Policies.”
“By the end of 2022, cashew nut exports from Nigeria generated over $250 million, or nearly 10% of the nation’s agricultural exports,” he stated.
2023 Cashew Export Prediction
By 2023, cashew export is predicted to bring in $500 million for Nigerian farmers.
“I beg you to continue cooperating peacefully because this is the only way you can have a good influence on the long-term growth of the cashew industry and ensure that it helps this administration’s economic diversification program achieve its overarching objective.
Since the 1990s, cashew has gained more significance in Nigeria as an export-oriented cash crop. It has grown to be a significant non-oil export revenue source.
“Cashew has become a commercial crop in Nigeria. It is cultivated in 27 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“In realization of the importance of cashew, the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, listed cashew as a priority crop to be promoted, under the Import Substitution Strategy of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Out of the 250,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria, only about 10 percent is processed, while Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) are sold to cashew buying agents for export and cashew apple eaten raw, and the rest wasted, because of inadequate facilities to process other cashew derivatives, for example, cashew juice, jam, and ice cream, among others. This means exporting Nigerian jobs to other countries.”