Thứ Sáu, ngày 30 tháng 9 năm 2016

Ghana: Tilapia, cashew draw Vietnamese investors

September 29, 2016

Vietnamese investors, currently on a one-week working visit to Ghana, are seeking to establish joint ventures with Ghanaian partners in the production of tilapia, cashew and rice. At a Ghana-Vietnam Business Forum held in Accra, on Tuesday, Dao Manh Duc, who is the second Head of Trade, Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Nigeria, said the team is looking for opportunities in production, processing, and marketing of the said products. The visit, facilitated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ghana-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was initiated for both parties to strengthen the existing trade relations. In 2015, Ghana imported about US$241million worth of goods from the South East Asian country. The major imported items included rice, garment products, iron and steel, fishing net, sea foods, tobacco, electronics, toothpaste, and computer and electronics.

About US$185million worth of rice; US$4.9million worth of computer and electronics; and US$2million worth of toothpaste were imported from the Island-nation into Ghana in 2015. Ghana, on the other hand, exported goods worth about US$137million to Vietnam in 2015. Major Ghanaian exports included raw cashew nut, timber and products from timber, sesame seeds, sea food, raw cotton, metal product, plastic, and other metals. This comprised US$117million worth of raw cashew; and US$20million worth of timber and products from timber were exported to Vietnam.

Elvis Afryie Ankrah,a Minister of State at the Presidency said: “Government policy, these days, is to encourage local production of rice and reduce importation so as to reduce our balance of trade. Government is also targeting value added investments that will create jobs and improve technology transfer with our trade partners. We in leadership will lend our total support.”

Vice President of the Ghana-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Michael Ntim-Addo said: “Ghana has been producing and consuming rice for ages. Most of the rice consumed is imported from all over the world, of course, including Vietnam.”

“On the average, Ghana imports about 400,000 metric tons of milled rice every year, according to trade statistics from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. This translates into some US$300million of business. So there is huge market opportunity there for traders in rice.”

He noted that as a result of government’s policy of encouraging rice production in recent times, there has been an upsurge in local production of rice and reduced importation.

The reduced importation has also improved the country’s balance of trade and payments.

“At the moment, there are six large scale rice producers who may be consulted to discuss the prospects for joint ventures. Ghana has suitable arable land and labour for rice cultivation while Vietnam has the latest technologies for rice production.

We are sure that when these two gigantic factors of production put their weight together, they can attract the necessary financial muscles from the banking and insurance sectors to produce the best rice the world can buy,” Mr. Ntim-Addo said.


Thứ Tư, ngày 28 tháng 9 năm 2016

Mozambique: 2.5 million cashew trees sprayed in Nampula province, Mozambique

27 September 2016


The National Cashew Institute (INAJU), in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, in the current campaign has sprayed 2.5 million cashew trees against mildew and other pests.
Speaking at a press conference in Nampula city, the INCAJU provincial delegate, Jaime Chissico, said that this was only 15 per cent of the 14 million trees in the province. Because of the lack of funds to buy more chemicals, it was not possible to spray all the cashew trees.
Given this situation, Chissico urged cashew producers to use other, cheaper forms of treatment, such as cleaning and pruning their trees by hand.
Chissico said that in this campaign Nampula expects to market about 45,000 tonnes of cashew nuts. Most of these nuts will be sold to the local cashew processing factories.
In the 2015-2016 campaign, Nampula, the largest cashew producing province in the country marketed 44,000 tonnes of nuts. So Chissico was expecting an increase of around three per cent in production this campaign.
There are now 13 cashew processing factories in Nampula, but only 11 of them are functioning.
Source: AIM

African cashew nuts flood market


In the last two years, cashew production has fallen to 25 per cent of total crop in state.

Visakhapatnam: Over the years Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring states have developed a taste for African cashew nuts giving a tough competition to local cashew varieties.
The import of cashew from African countries has been steadily going up. From here, after processing and adding value, the African cashew is also going to countries like US and some others in Europe and South East Asia.  
In Andhra Pradesh, Palasa variety of Srika kulam and Vetapalem variety of Prakasam district cashews are famous for their rich taste.
Imports of African cashew nuts which started in 2007-08 at Vizag port was initially only 10,000 tonnes. This has gradually increased and in 2015-16, the imports at Vizag container terminal stood at close to 1 lakh tonne at Vizag port  with around 5054 TEUs (20-feet  equivalent units or containers).
This year already 2,000 containers of 20 tonne each had already been imported.   AP occupied sixth rank in terms of number of units and third rank in the processing of cashew nuts in India.  Cashew nuts from 36 African countries are being imported.
“Since two years, the cashew nut production in Andhra Pradesh has come down to just 25 per cent of the total cashew crop. Besides domestic consumption, we used to export the processed nuts to other countries. Now, we are importing the cashew nuts from African countries, processing them and exporting the cashew kernels to other countries and also to domestic market,” Palasa Cashew Manufacturers Association president Malla Srinivas Rao told this correspondent.
Andhra Pradesh has about 46,913 hectares of area under cashew cultivation with an annual production of 12,500 ton-nes of raw nuts. Srika-kulam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nell-ore are important cashew growing districts in the state.
There are around 650 cashew processing units in Andhra Pradesh and among them 500 are located in Srikakulam district and the remaining located in different districts of the state. Palasa and surrounding areas include 450 processing units. Each unit  processes 1-4 tonne a day in Srikaku-lam district, which is the major cashew processing centre in AP.
Mr Rao added that yield of some cashew nut varieties from Africa is more than 40 per cent against the 20 per cent of the local variety. The size and taste of African cashew from some countries are superior to that of the local variety.

Zambia: ‘I’ll revamp Cashew Nut industry’

September 27, 2016

Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu has pledged to work at revamping the Cashew Nut Industry in the region. Mr Mubukwanu says he will also work at addressing challenges in the Education and health sectors. He says government is in a hurry to complete all pending projects in order to guarantee service delivery to all ordinary Zambians. The Provincial Minister explained that he has prioritized the Ministries of health and education because of their critical nature.

He said he is concerned with the low pass rates in some schools as well as dilapidated health facilities in some health centres. ZANIS reports from Mongu that Mr. Mubukwanu said this in his introductory speech when he addressed government workers following his nomination to parliament and appointment as Provincial Minister.


Thứ Hai, ngày 26 tháng 9 năm 2016

Nigeria: Expert says agricultural export, way out of recession

September 23, 2016

Mr Offon Udoffia, an export expert, on Friday, stressed the need for increased processing and storage of agricultural products for export as one of Nigeria’s way out of the current recession. Udoffia stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja as he suggested moves that could be taken to pull the economy out of slump. He said that an aggressive promotion of agricultural value chain would not only restore economic buoyancy but create job opportunities.

He added that “40 per cent of our harvests are wasted due to the lack of export value chain; we need to process more for export. “We must think of ways of preserving our agricultural products so as to avoid wastage.’’ Udoffia, who is the Chairman of Rivers/Bayelsa Shippers Association (RIBASA), said it was time for Nigeria to look inwards for economic innovations and actions for a virile economy.

He noted that the siting of cashew nuts and pawpaw processing companies for exports would not only create wealth, but employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the country. The expert, who is into cashew and palm oil exportation, said “if a 250 metric tonne of cashew nuts factory is established in Nigeria, more than 500 youths will get jobs. “If, however, we establish a 500 metric tonne of the cashew nuts factory, certainly over 1,000 youths will gain employment.’’ But he reiterated the need for renewed export value addition to agricultural products to avert wastage.


Nigeria: Heritage Bank CEO Charges Banks On Accessing Funds

September 26, 2016

The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Heritage Bank Limited, Ifie Sekibo has advised exporters in the non-oil sector of country to avail themselves of the various funds available to the export sector.  Speaking on the topic: “Providing Finance for Exports: Expectation & Experience,” at the 2016 Annual Conference organized by Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Sekibo stressed the need for exporters to master the steps to getting funding for export.

According to him, the first step is to know the difference between funds required for financing the business between the commencement of the manufacturing or procuring process and the dispatch of the goods, known as pre-shipment finance; and that of post-shipment finance, which are funds required for financing the exporter between the dispatch of goods and the receipt of payment.

The Heritage Bank chief executive identified major commodities that can boost foreign exchange earnings for the country, as the Federal Government intensifies efforts to boost non-oil export revenues.

Sekibo listed  some of the export potential products of the country as  cocoa, cashew, groundnut, fish, horns, sesame seed, ginger, cassava and snails among others. He also listed tobacco, coffee, cotton lint, rubber, among others.

He then urged farmers and exporters of agricultural produce to  seek more knowledge  in order to increase  the quality and quantity of their products because export business involves dealings with other world players.


India: Special package sought for cashew sector

Mon Sep 26, 2016

In a major effort to revive the ailing cashew industry in Kerala, the Cashew export promotion council of India (Cepci) has made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers of finance and industry to implement a special revival package with a five-point remedial plan to reverse the downward trend in cashew exports. It seeks to revive the once prosperous industry that provided employment to 10 lakh rural workers, mainly women.In the representation submitted to the PM, Cepci emphasised on allowing time for cashew factories to repay the loans taken from banks in instalments. The submission also seeks to provide special relaxations in non-performing asset rules to avoid classifying cashew industry loans as bad loans (NBA), restrain from moves to freeze or take over the collateral property or stocks, converting the eroded working capital loan into term loans repayable over a long term period and allowing fresh low interest loans for raw nut procurement, for automation and mechanisation of factories.

In a request submitted to the Union finance minister Arun Jaitely and minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman, Cepci chairman P Sundaram has outlined specific issues pertaining to the cashew industry and sought their intervention in resolving them.

Cepci officials said that the five-point remedial measures suggested include roll back of import duty imposed on raw nuts with retrospective effort from March 1, restoration of export incentives to 5%, restructuring of standard input-output norms on prevailing value basis as quantity-based norms are not viable in case of agriculture products.

They said compliance checks and action be taken against a processor only if he fails to meet his export obligations within the allowed time period of 18 months. Finally, in case of exports made out of imported duty-paid raw nuts, the duty drawback should be made equal to the duty paid on inputs and the same rates should be made applicable for exports from domestic raw nuts.

The newly introduced import duty on the industry has hit the industry hard. As per the new provisions, duty-free import is possible only if kernels weighing 25% of the raw nuts imported and worth 15% more in value are exported within 18 months. The present outturn stands at a disheartening 12 to 18%.

"Apart from the import duty burden, the slashing of export incentives has also led to the drastic fall in exports," said Sundaram."While the present trade policy gives priority to industries, which are agriculture-based, labour-oriented, women-centric and exportoriented, the cashew industry which more than qualifies under all these categories, has been denied eligible benefits and subjected to a drastic cut in export incentives," he added.