Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated a Cashew Processing factory, FoodPro Nigeria Limited, in Ilorin.
Osinbajo also inspected the factory on Tuesday after the inauguration. He was delighted with what he saw on ground.
The Vice President who was conducted round the factory by the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Ayo Olajiga, restated the administration’s resolve to support the private sector with policies that would make business easier.
Osinbajo was accompanied by Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Executive director of Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju.
Olajiga, who later spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the company had employed more than 400 staff with 90 per cent of them being women since it started operations a few years back.
He said the factory was expanded to produce 5,000 tonnes of processed cashew nuts a year.
Olajiga explained that most of the company’s output is exported to the United States of America (USA) and local stores in Nigeria.
He said the choice of Kwara State for the factory was because of raw material coupled with the state government’s friendly business policies.
He commended the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Kwara State Government for their support to the company.
The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) on Friday projected a 10 per cent increase in cashew nut production for 2018.
It said this would bring the total value of nuts to 185 tons, up from its 2017 level of 175 tons.
The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Sotonye Anga, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Anga told NAN that the expectations was as a result of the fact that thousands of new cashew trees at their 17th week were already flowering in preparation to fruit.
According to him, there is also a prospective early harvest in 2018 starting from January.
“It is a good thing to see reports from members across the cashew producing states that even new cashew plantations of 16 to 17 months are already flowering.
“This goes to show that there will be enormous economical gains for the nation in terms of revenue.
“This year, there was a record high sale of raw cashew nuts because a metric ton of the commodity was sold for N700, 000; that has never happened before”.
He said that for the 2018 cashew season, there was hope for better performance, a development that was giving cashew farmers excitement.
The secretary urged cashew farmers to clear their farms in readiness for the 2018 harvest season, adding that farm clearing would also avert farm fires.
“We want to urge farmers to start clearing their farms so that the fallen cashews would not get lost in the heap of sorts around the trees.
“Also, it will ease picking up of the cashews.
“Clearing of the farms would also avert farm fires that can be very costly,” Anga said.
He also advised the farmers to adhere strictly to the Good Agricultural Practises (GAP) mantra of the association as a way of meeting international standards