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Business News of Tuesday, 14 June 2022


Stakeholders target 500,000 metric tonnes of cashew

cashew cashew

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s West Africa PRO-Cashew and African Cashew Alliance(ACA) are working on increasing Nigeria’s cashew production to 500,000 metric tonnes yearly which could pull in at least $4 billion in foreign exchange earnings.

Nigeria‘s production is estimated at 300,000 tonnes yearly.

Speaking during the maiden policy dialogue with Nigeria Cashew Stakeholders in Lagos, organised by PRO-Cashew and ACA, in collaboration with other development partners, Chief of Party, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) Jean Francois Guay noted that Nigeria was the second largest cashew producer and exporter, in West Africa with potential to increase exports if appropriate measures are taken to increase cashew productivity, quality and promote processing.

According to him, there is the need to develop the cashew value chains and strengthening its integration into global markets, adding that it has the potential to generate inclusive rural employment through farming and industrialisation, thereby contributing to poverty reduction.

He maintained that the cashew value chain was stymied by constraints, especially processing, calling for efforts to improve governance of the cashew value chain and enhance the competitiveness and inclusiveness of small-scale farmers.

Regional Policy Expert, Cashew Value Chain, PRO-Cashew, Shakti Pal observed that the sector needed restructuring to ensure proper earnings for local farmers and traders.

According to him, the potential for cashew was very large due to the high demand in the market.

He reiterated that there were positive signals that Nigeria could explore more opportunities in the global market to accelerate the export of cashew y. To enter this market, he said measures must be taken to ensure the quality of export products.

Chairman, National Cashew Steering Committee, Roland Oroh, noted that Development Gateway (DG) is partnering with CNFA under the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew project to develop the cashew-in data collection and analysis platform.

The project, according to him, has identified gaps in the data collection, storage, usage and dissemination related to the cashew sector in all five implementing countries-Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Nigeria.

The project, he continued is now working to address these gaps through a multi-country cashew data management system (Cashew-IN) that will facilitate access to and use of data to improve decision-making for policymakers, farmers, and the private sector. The ultimate goal, he added was s to generate better market outcomes for cashew nuts in these countries.

Oroh, posited that there was no al organized way of aggregating cashew sector data, even though large amounts of data reside in public and private sector organizations and institutions with a mandate to work on the research, production, and trade in cashew products.

Currently, he observed that institutions such as the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN); the Federal Ministry of Agriculture; the Federal Ministry of Industry; Trade and Investment (FMITI); Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); and the Nigeria Agribusiness Register (NAR) all have bits and pieces of cashew data. All data, he stressed have to be aggregated and presented in a way that gives value to the different users of the data.

He said the plan is to establish a single data platform which will provide information to all categories of users.

Country Representative, Nigeria, West Africa PRO-Cashew, Olorunfemi Toyin, explained that the PRO-Cashew project began in Nigeria this year with the commissioning of a baseline survey to identify the challenges in the Cashew sector. Similarly, he said additional research was conducted to gain a better understanding of the Nigeria Cashew Chain.

The goal of the effort, he maintained was to inform the deployment of activities and efficient methodologies that will address the existing gaps in the a cashew sector, especially since the PRO-Cashew project seeks to boost the competitiveness of West African cashew producers by improving efficiency and quality in trade and production.

Head, Cashew Desk, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ohinoyi Christopher Adava said Federal Government has shown a strong interest in supporting the growth and development of the cashew sector through collaborations with development partners, distribution of improved planting materials, distribution of agrochemicals and jute bags to smallholder cashew farmers, the establishment of modular processing facilities, and inclusion of cashew as a priority commodity for import substitution.

He said the reason for the policy dialogue with stakeholders to align stakeholders’ interests and propose recommendations for the sector’s growth.

According to him, the Federal Government is working with the private sector to carry out research-based activities, build the capacity of smallholder cashew farmers, and distribute quality planting materials to farmers.

As part of measures to know the accurate data of agricultural yields in Nigeria, yearly, Assistant Director, Head Agric Statistics Division, National Bureau of Statistics, Bishop Olubo-Ojo Ohioma, said the agency, together with World Bank and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) will embark on the National Agriculture Sample Census. NBS is set to conduct the National Agricultural Sample Census (NASC) after 28 years.

He said that the exercise is critical and it would involve the enumeration of all agricultural activities in the country, including crop production, fisheries, forestry, and livestock activities.

According to him, conventionally, the agriculture census is meant to be conducted every five to 10 years in line with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) standards.

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