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Nigeria exports N146.1bn worth of raw cashew in 6 months

Nigeria exported N146.1bn worth of raw cashew in the first half of 2023, a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed. The…

Nigeria exported N146.1bn worth of raw cashew in the first half of 2023, a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed.

The report titled Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics showed that the product is categorised into two of cashew nuts shelled and cashew nuts in shell.

The report stated that in the first quarter of 2023, N27.1bn of cashew nuts in shell were exported with the Republic of Vietnam topping the list while N6.8bn of cashew nuts shelled were exported.

For the second quarter, the report stated that the export of the commodity grew to N112.1bn with 57.4bn of cashew nuts shelled while N54.6bn of cashew nuts in shell were exported.

The report showed that over N102.3bn of the products were destined for Vietnam.

Daily Trust reports that the figure in the first half of 2023 has surpassed the N116bn of the product that was exported in 2022.

It would be recalled that the erstwhile Executive Secretary, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Dr. Ezra Yakusak, had in April stated that Nigeria exported N116bn ($252m) of the product in 2022 making Nigeria Africa’s 4th highest producer of cashew nuts in 2022.

Yakusak stated that 315,677 metric tons of raw cashew nuts were exported during the period targeted earnings to reach $504m in 2023.

He stated that the figure in 2022 is the fifth leading non-oil exportable product in Nigeria in the 2022 Non-Oil Performance Report.

The NEPC boss said: “Nigeria’s cashew export trade is largely hampered by non-adherence to food safety standards, lack of traceability, low yield per hectare, poor practices and aging trees. Also, most of the processed cashew kernels are very low and account for about 16 per cent of cashew export, even as the primary cashew produced export is mostly the conventional and not organic certified cashew.”

However, the Secretary General of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Sotonye Anga, said with 90 per cent of cashews cultivated in Nigeria and exported in its raw form, the sector would be incurring losses in every export.

“When we export raw cashew, we are also exporting our jobs and that is why the government and other relevant stakeholders must provide an enabling environment to promote the sector to its highest potential,” he said.

He said Nigeria was still lagging in terms of processing as less than 10 per cent of the cashew nut is processed in Nigeria. He said the government has to be focused on boosting cashew production to at least 30 or 50 per cent.

“The targets have to be measurable and these things are achievable if we provide the enabling environment. We have to incentivise the cashew sector in Nigeria. If the government decides to create a N30bn to N200bn cashew development fund within five years, the sector will transform into one of the biggest economic contributors in Nigeria,” Anga said.

He said the investment would create one of the most versatile income streams and bring great pride to the country.

“Everything cashew is for export. The cashew oil, kernel, apple, and nuts are exportable,” he added.

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