Nigeria produces about 150,000 metric tonnes of cashew annually and is rated fourth largest producer of cashew nuts in Africa and seventh in the world.
Speaking at the 2016 National Cashew Trade Administration meeting of the association in Ogbomosho, Oyo, NCAN President, Mr. Tola Fasheru, said: “The encroachment of foreigners has been causing distractions for local farmers, and the consequence of this is low quality of products, reduced value at the international market and most importantly lower purchasing power for the Nigerian farmers.
He averred that, “The encroachment into cashew farms by foreigners is inimical to the value chain system and cuts off our locals from participating in the trade. Expatriates are positioned in the bushes to buy directly from the farmers thereby taking away the much needed jobs from our people. If our people cannot buy produce what else do you want them to do?’
Fasheru noted that the international market expects 8.0 percent moisture in the cashew for the best quality and when cashew is not well-dried, it is difficult to achieve this quality and such low quality of product will spoil the image of this country.
According to him: “We want our farmers to dry their cashew to eight percent at the farm gate and at the earliest time so that it will meet the international standard and if all these are done well, farmers will earn more, the country will earn more and most importantly the interest for Nigerian cashew in the international market will continue to increase”
Also speaking at the meeting, former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, frowned at the practice of foreigners bombarding the farm gates to buy cashew and said this should stop now.
He said this poses big risk to the nation especially in this age of security concerns. He appealed to the association to do its best in ensuring that cash crops return as the major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria now that the country is moving away from a monolithic economy