Stakeholders in the Nigerian agricultural sector have said that the country has the potentials to earn over $200 million (N72bn) annually from cashew nuts export if harnessed.
The stakeholders who made this revelation recently at the Cashew Stakeholders Export Summit in Abuja, also highlighted factors affecting export which include, poor link between actors in the value chain, old age of most trees, deforestation, low yielding varieties, dominance of small holdings and dependence of most farmers on wild varieties.
They also said land acquisition problems, high cost of inputs, climatic conditions, disease, pest and fire outbreaks, high post-harvest losses, infrastructural constraints, quality and unstable market conditions and lack of access to adequate financing were also among the factors affecting export.
The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono who was represented by Hajiya Karima Babangida at the summit, said the government was aware of the challenges facing the cultivation and processing of cashew in the country and promised to address them.
He said the federal government is interested in the development of cashew as an important cash crop hence the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has put a number of measures in place to accelerate its development.
Also speaking, President, Association of Cashew Farmers, Aggregators and Processors of Nigeria (ACFAP), Engr. Unekwuojo Edime, a comprehensive analysis of the situation shows that Nigerian Farmers who spend a great deal of money and time on farming gets only about 20-35% profit margin as a result of lack of value addition compared to other countries that takes the lion share of 65-80%.
According to him, “on export earnings, Nigeria was reported to have exported about 220,000Mt of raw cashew nuts and 22,000Mt locally processed before export in 2019, making up a total export of about 242,000Mt.
“At the reported average FOB price of $900/Mt for raw cashew nut and $7,200/Mt for processed cashew kernel in year 2019, we projected that Nigeria would have earned about $198,000,000 from sales of raw nut and about $34,848,000 from sales of kernel. This would have translated to a total of $232,848,000 for Nigeria export earnings for the year in review.
A simple classical economics reveals with pain that if all the 242,000Mt were processed before export, Nigeria would have earned about $383,328,000 instead of $232,848,000″, he said.
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