Nigeria’s cashew production has risen from 100,000 tonnes per annum in 2011 to 175,000 tonnes in 2017, an increase of 43 percent. A corresponding increase in quality of the product has also seen the market value jump to $1,800 per tonne as against the old value of $300 per tonne. This represents an 83 percent rise.
The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) which disclosed this in a communique issued at the end of its annual general meeting in Abeokuta, Ogun State, noted that “Nigerian cashew quality now ranks high in the world, as the produce is subjected to proper drying and packing into jute bags before export.”
According to NCAN’s national president, Babatola Faseru, “our work has created prosperity for cashew farmers, traders, exporters, processors and other actors across the cashew value chain.”
He said the association’s leadership has worked hard over the years and brought the cashew crop from a place of obscurity to limelight and now cashew has gained national prominence and recognition by both the federal and state governments in Nigeria.
Consequently, he said that the crop has earned the status of “a transformational crop by the Ministry of Agriculture; one of the strategic commodities with which to diversify the nation’s economy from oil by the Federal Ministry of Trade.”
On the heels of this is the news that Nigeria is now second behind the United States of America as the leading producer of sorghum, a cereal used in the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Data obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that America’s output is projected at 8.4 million metric tonnes while Nigeria is following closely with 6.4 million metric tonnes. Mexico is in the third position with 6.0 million metric tonnes.