(Ecofin Agency) – Nigeria is to start exporting processed cashew nuts by 2019, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh (photo).
Ogbeh who disclosed this on Tuesday at the maiden edition of the 2017 First Bank Agric Expo in Lagos, said that currently a tonne of processed cashew nut when exported is sold for $10,000 while the raw cashew nut is sold at $1,200.
He explained that it would be beneficial to process the nuts and export rather than exporting the nuts raw. “So in the next two years we will no longer export raw cashew nuts, but roast the cashew nuts for export. If we produce a tonne of roasted cashew it will be sold at the international price of $10,000, whereas a ton of raw cashew nuts sells for $1,200.”
Nigeria’s inability to process cashew nuts in significant quantities for export resulted in the loss of $1.4 billion in 2016.
According to data from the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), the country exported a total of 160,000 metric tons of cashew valued at $300 million in 2016.
Nigeria is the fourth largest producer of cashew in Africa and the sixth in the world with an output of 160,000 metric tons per year. A production which is expected to reach 500,000 metric tons by 2020. The main export destinations for the crop are Europe, India and the United States.