Nigeria has the potential to become the largest producer of Cashew in the world, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Muhammed, Sabo Nanono has said.
With an estimated production capacity of 250,000 metric tons per annum, Nanono said that Nigeria is currently the fourth-largest producer in the world and second in Africa with twenty-seven states and the FCT cultivating cashew.
The minister made this known while inaugurating the Nigeria Cashew Value Chain Working Committee on Thursday 8th July 2021 in Abuja.According to him, exports of cashew between 2015 and 2017 earned Nigeria over eight hundred million US dollars ($800 million).
This, he added, has made the commodity an important export-oriented cash crop and a significant non – oil export earner. Nanono, however, lamented that while Nigeria has about 100,000 cultivable lands for producing cashew, she was only able to produce 450 kilograms per hectare as opposed to Ivory Coast which produces 750 kilograms per hectare on only 32,000 surface area.
The Nigerian cashew policy environment, the Minister noted, had remained static and has slowed down the development of the sector.
In a statement signed by the Technical Adviser (Media) to the minister, Ahmed Aminu, Nanono disclosed that his ministry in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded West Africa PRO – Cashew Project has constituted a committee to develop a five-year working document.
The document will enable Nigeria to realize the enormous potentials available in the Nigerian Cashew Value Chain, the minister said.
Nanono, therefore, tasked the 26-person committee to work assiduously to develop the working plan to increase cashew productivity, quality, value addition, and access to markets.