The minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, claims that cashew nut exports from Nigeria earned over $250 million in revenue in 2022 and are projected to bring in around $500 million in revenue in 2023.
According to a report by The Pinch,he said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the start of the cashew season and Nigerian Cashew Day, which has as its theme “Industrializing the Nigeria Cashew Sector through Inclusive Policies.”
The minister, who was represented by Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, stated, “Cashew is becoming more significant in Nigeria as an export-oriented cash crop since the 1990s. It has developed into a significant source of non-oil export profits.
According to export figures from 2022, it is projected to account for nearly 10% of GDP. It is also developing as a commercial crop in Nigeria and is grown in 27 States, including the Federal Capital Territory.
“The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, identified cashew as a priority crop after realizing the crop’s significance.
It is being promoted as part of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s Import Substitution Strategy.
According to Abubakar, the cashew value chain is one of the crops being promoted by the ministry’s Value Chain Programme.
“The Ministry had engaged in a number of efforts over the years to encourage the expansion of the value chain in the nation, including providing cashew farmers with better seeds and seedlings at no cost.
“Cashew cottage businesses are being established in some states, and agrochemicals and growth promoters are also being distributed, along with carbon-free jute bags and backpack sprayers.
The minister said, “Others included giving cashew farmers water pumps, doing capacity building/training for cashew farmers, and holding sensitization exercises.”
Nigeria has taken over the nation’s foreign exchange trading over the last three years by at least 11%, according to Ojo Ajanaku, president of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria.
This suggests that the industry has the ability to boost national revenue production, boost job creation, and diversify the economy, the speaker continued.
According to Ajanaku, more than 3 million people in Nigeria, mostly women, have started producing cashews and are leading the way among their male counterparts.
“NCAN’s long-term goal is to change Nigeria from a low-cost commodity producer to a trustworthy supplier and exporter of high-quality cashew goods,” he said.