January 25, (THEWILL) – Nigeria is expected to generate over $500 million in revenue from the exportation of cashew nuts in 2023.
THEWILL reports that the country raked in a total of $250 million from the export of cashew nuts in 2022.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, made this known on Tuesday, during the ‘Nigerian Cashew Day and Cashew Season Commencement’ in Abuja.
Represented by Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Abubakar said, “In Nigeria, cashew has been increasing in its importance as an export-oriented cash crop since the 1990s, it has become an important source of non-oil export earnings.
”It is estimated to represent over 10% 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.
“In recognition 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 the cashew value chain 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.
“Establishment of cashew cottage industries in some states, distribution of agrochemicals/growth enhancers, carbon-free jute bags and knapsack sprayers.
“Others were the provision of water pumps to cashew farmers, conducting capacity building/training for cashew farmers and having sensitisation exercises,” he added
Speaking at the occasion, President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Ojo Ajanaku, said Nigeria has become an export hub, accounting for at least 11 percent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange in the last 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 that more than 3 million people in Nigeria, especially women, have become cashew producers and were driving the sector among their male counterparts.
“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 added.