Nigeria: Farmers should process locally

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has advised farmers and merchants of cashew nuts to prioritise local processing over export of raw nuts.

According to them, this will add value to the crop’s value chain, and even boost earnings.

Nigeria is the world’s sixth largest producer of raw cashew nuts. The country produces about 120,000 metric tonnes annually,and generated N17.7 billion or $108 million from exports in 2013, accounting for about 10 percent of agriculture exports.

This sounds like much until you compare with other countries that add value to the crop before exporting to markets in the European Union, the United states and the middle east.

In 2014, Vietnam made 2.2 billion dollars from exporting 309,000 tonnes of cashew nuts. The Nigerian exports promotion council says there is need to increase investment in cashew processing.

The managing director of African Cashew Alliance wants government to make and implement policies that will encourage and protect investments in the processing of the commodity.

Industry players said cashew processing can create sustainable jobs and eventually lead to an overall increase in the value of the entire agriculture sector.