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Business News of Friday, 5 August 2022

Source: thenationonlineng.net

Stakeholders push for sustainable African cashew industry

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Stakeholders in the cashew value chain have disclosed a plan towards creating a sustainable Africa cashew industry that delivers globally competitive, value-added products and secures profitability for all actors in the industry.

The President of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) Mr. Babatola Faseru stated this in Abuja during a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar.

Faseru who also introduced ACA as a non-governmental organisation formed in 2005, said it is solely dedicated to promoting a globally competitive African cashew industry that benefits the entire value chain from farmer to consumer.

Through this partnership which Nigeria is a member, he said the country has received support from both public and private stakeholders, advocacy, linkages, technical assistance and global networking for exchanging knowledge and best practices.

He noted that ACA has successfully created a platform for accelerating growth and investments in the African Cashew industry.

The National President, Nigeria Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) Ojo Ajanaku commended the Minister and introduced NCAN as the umbrella body for the Nigerian cashew industry.

He said the main objective of NCAN is to build a sustainable Nigerian cashew industry for the benefit of all stakeholders in the cashew value chain.

“Our members are: cashew farmers, traders, processors, exporters, researchers, and all service providers,” he said.

He also informed the minister that cashew has become a national commodity as it is grown in the 36 states of Nigeria and second to cocoa in terms of foreign exchange earnings to the Nigerian economy.

He however, commended the minister for the support received so far from the ministry which includes Improved seeds/seedlings and agro-chemicals to cashew farmers free of charge, establishment of cashew processing cottages in some states for processing cashew nuts and distribution of carbon free jute bags to enhance cashew nut storage and shelf life.

In his response, the Minister congratulated Mr. Faseru on his election as the first Nigerian to occupy the exalted office of the President, Board of Directors, African Cashew Alliance (ACA).

He stated that ACA’s vision of creating a sustainable African Cashew industry that delivers global competitive value-added products culminating into jobs creation is in tandem with the Cashew Value Chain Development Program of this Ministry.

The minister said that Cashew Value Chain is among the crops being promoted under the Ministry’s Value Chain Programme, geared towards sustainable development of the cashew industry and ensuring its contribution in achieving the overall goal of this Administration’s Economic Diversification Agenda.

He noted that The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under his watch will continue to collaborate and support all efforts to develop and move the cashew industry forward in the country.

To this end, the Minister approved two technical officers of my Ministry to be part of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the forthcoming ACA conference and to report back to me in areas the Ministry’s support is needed for the successful hosting of the event.

He therefore urged ACA and NCAN to continue working together in harmony as this is the only way you can make a positive impact towards sustainable development of the cashew industry.