The minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has reiterated the federal government’s commitment to collaborate with stakeholders to boost cashew production in Nigeria.
Reports have it that Nigeria’s annual cashew production currently at about 300,000 metric tonnes is expected to hit 500,000 metric tonnes yearly if given the necessary support it deserved
Abubakar stated this during a courtesy visit by African Cashew Alliance (ACA) led by its president, Otunba Babatola Faseru, in his office, in Abuja recently.
He revealed that the focus of the present administration is to grow the agricultural sector as a base for economic growth.
The minister noted that every single value chain in the agricultural sector is important, pointing out the need for all the value chains to strengthen their partnerships to make a big difference, in the area of food, nutrition and food security.
He said that the ministry would continue to support the cashew value chain, maintaining that it had trained smallholder farmers on cashew production, processing and packaging of the commodity.
Earlier, the president of African Cashew Alliance, Mr. Babatola Faseru, stated that ACA is a non-governmental organisation created in 2005 with the mandate to promote a globally competitive African cashew industry that would benefit the entire value chain from farmers to consumers, adding that Africa was losing over 2000 jobs.
Faseru noted that cashew could provide over 1000 jobs in Nigeria.
In his remark, the President Cashew Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ojo Ajanaku thanked the minister for his support, noting that Nigeria had about 600, 000 surviving cashew trees spread across the country.
Ajanuka maintained that currently 75 to 80 per cent of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria are exported, as only very few companies are involved in the local processing of the produce.
He also stated that cashew could be grown in any part of the country, adding that 60 per cent of the world cashew is supplied from Africa.