Stakeholders at the 16th African Cashew Alliance (ACA) Annual Cashew Conference recently in Abuja said the country can harvest about N507 billion (about $1.2bn) from 2025 to 2030 if adequate attention is given to the industry.
The event, which focused on “Strengthening Sustainable Kernel & By-product Marketing in the African Cashew Industry” looks at the emerging market for the product in Africa and how producing countries can tap into the global cashew wealth.
Mr Krishanu Chakravarty, Chief of Party, TechnoServe of Prosper Cashew, in his remarks said Nigerian cashew industry has the potential of making 1.2 billion U.S. dollars between 2025 and 2030.
The chief of Party stated that the cashew initiative aims to generate over 26,000 new jobs and may indirectly attract 133,000 Nigerians into the industry adding that for the farmers to be successful with processing, it is important that they upscale their production.
”What are we planning to do in Nigeria is to focus on building supply chain, introduction of traceability and improve the market opportunity for the processes, both for domestic and international markets.
”We try to see how to help farmers get access to finance and technical supports that will spread across all the countries that we are working with. We have mapped the landscape of cashew processing sector in Nigeria, we started thinking seriously on increasing the on production, which will have a big impact on the processing,” he said
Mr Chakravarty stated that the project will last five years and that Nigeria’s greatest strength is its local consumption, urging Nigeria to enter the market.
”In Nigeria most of the plants are more than 20 years old, we need to plant new trees, there is need to find out the geographical areas we can plant new trees,” he said.
The Director Product Development, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. Obidike Evelyn, who praised the company for its initiative in Nigeria and vowed to sign an MOU with it to benefit cashew producers and processors.
She said the Nigerian market requires a one-of-a-kind selling case for data-driven innovations in manufacturing, processing, marketing sustainability, certification, and traceability.
National President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Mr Ojo Ajanaku said “We need to encourage our farmers to keep cashew planting and it is our responsibility to help farmers protect their trees.”
He said processing the product in Nigeria will make the country compete at the global market.
”We are encouraging processing in Nigeria to create competitiveness, for the farmers to be encouraged in farming their product. Cashew is a God-given seed to us in Nigeria, it grows in about 26 states of the federation,” he said.