… early cropping seen in 2017
Nigeria cashew farmers recorded huge sales and made profits from sale of cashew nuts in 2016, owing to steep devaluation of the naira, stakeholders say.
The stakeholders, who spoke at the Annual Cashew Logistics meeting held in Lagos recently, said cashew farmers and exporters made more money in 2016 which has significantly increase the revenue of Nigeria’s cashew industry by 20 percent.
“In 2016 the industry made revenue of $300 million dollars and last year we did $250 million,” Tola Faseru, president, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) told journalist during the annual meeting.
“We produce about 170,000 metric tons this year and with what we have seen so far 2017 is going to be better,” Faseru said.
This year, Vietnam, world largest cashew exporter, experienced it worst drought in a century which reduced the country’s export by 11 percent and created market for cashew nuts from other countries.
As a result, the demand for Nigeria’s cashew by foreigners increased and this pushed up the prices of local cashew nuts by 15.4 percent.
“The demand for cashew has gone up. A lot of foreigners are calling and asking for our cashew currently, and this is why the price has gone up,” said Zacheaus Egbewusi, chief executive officer, Agri Commodity Inspection Limited.
“Cashew is being sold for N450, 000 per metric ton. It was sold between N370, 000 and N390, 000 per metric ton a month ago,” Egbewusi added.
Also speaking with journalist at the event, Anga Sontoye, publicity secretary, NCAN, said “2016 was a wonderful year for cashew farmers and exporters. Our farmers will make more money in 2017 because output will increase by 10 percent and we prices are going to increase owing to lower value of naira against the dollar.”
“Having done our cashew survey for key producing 24 states, we realise that some cashew trees have started producing nuts and this implies that we are going to see an early crop from January and by February serious export will commence,” Sontoye said.
He stated that the price of a metric ton of cashew in the international market sells between $1,000 and $1,200. He also noted that Nigeria cashew industry will experience its greatest price regime in 2017 as the value of naira continues to drop against the dollars.
Nigeria’s cashew is usually harvested between February-June, though farmers stock the crop and export it all year round.
The stakeholders complained about foreign traders who are moving into farmlands to purchase produce directly from farmers and call on the government to address the issue.
“It is not done anywhere in the world, that foreigners will come into the country and source their produce directly from farms. Government at all level needs to regulate their activities,” said Faseru.
The stakeholders also requested for the grant of waivers for the importation of jute bags which is used in packaging cashew for exports.