Nigeria: Cashew farmers earn $300m revenue in 2016
Sun Jan 01 2017
Nigeria’s cashew farmers under the auspices of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) recorded revenue of $300 million in 2016, which represents an increase of 20 per cent from$250 million in 2015.
Speaking at the Annual Cashew Logistics meeting in Lagos recently, President of NCAN, Tola Faseru, said: “We produced about 170,000 metric tonnes this year and with what we have seen so far, 2017 is going to be better.”
According to him, in 2016, Vietnam, the world’s largest cashew exporter, experienced its worst drought in a century, which reduced the country’s export by 11 per cent 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 per cent. Also speaking at the event, Publicity Secretary, NCAN, Anga Sontoye, said 2016 was a wonderful year for cashew farmers and exporters, adding that Nigerian cashew farmers would make more money in 2017 because output will increase by 10 per cent and prices are going to increase owing to lower value of naira against the dollar.
He added: “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.”
However, he hinted that the price of a metric tonne of cashew in the international market sells between $1,000 and $1,200, adding that Nigeria’s cashew industry will experience its greatest price regime in 2017 as the value of naira continues to drop against the dollar.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, Agri Commodity Inspection Limited, Zacheaus Egbewusi, said the demand for cashew has gone up and a lot of foreigners are calling and asking for Nigeria’s cashew currently, which is why the price has gone up.
Said he: “Cashew is being sold for N450,000 per metric tonne. It was sold between N370,000 and N390,000 per metric tonne a month ago.”
Nigeria’s cashew is usually harvested between February and 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 called on the government to address the issue. The President lamented: “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 levels need 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 export.