Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Mar 15, 2020 20:34:14 GMT 1
Cashew nuts are some of the crops fuelling growth in the agricultural sector. Almost three million tonnes are harvested worldwide yearly. The estimated area under cashew plantations in Nigeria varies between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares.
An international market intelligence and advisory firm revealed that the cashew market was valued at $9.9 million last year, and is projected to reach $12.7 million by 2024. The firm said among the cashew producing nations, African countries contributed 56.5 per cent of the global production.
Incidentally, cashew nuts are Nigeria’s third-biggest agricultural export this year. Also, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said an estimated N8 billion was generated from cashew nuts exported in these past months.
The output of raw cashews only met about 20 per cent of the demand for export processing of the businesses.
Cashew International Market
Vietnam, India, Tanzania, Russia and Netherlands were Nigeria’s biggest markets for cashew nuts in half-year 2019. About 70 per cent of the cashew local production is commercialised of which about 90 per cent is exported in form of raw nuts.
At present, Nigeria is producing over 200,000 metric tonnes of cashew yearly and out of the 100 per cent of cashew that goes out, 60 per cent is from Kogi State.
Investors can make efforts towards increasing the export value of the intensively-processed cashew nuts and byproducts, which will in turn help farmers to raise their incomes and yields, while creating jobs for youths and raising incomes for many.
Foreign sales will also help to boost the cashew value chain. The cashew sector can provide over N50 billion yearly investment opportunities. The aroma is what the world wants. We have the market place but we need a strategic plan on how to harness it.
The cashew boom presents an unexpected but welcome opportunity to diversify agricultural exports beyond cocoa beans and rubber, and it will also help develop the country’s agro-industry.
India and Vietnam’s rising needs for raw cashew nuts have also fuelled the growth of cashew farming in Nigeria.Vietnam is the world’s leading cashew nut exporter, but the industry relies on imported raw materials. Thus, it imports over one million tonnes of raw cashew every year from many countries, mainly Africa.
As the top world exporter of processed cashew, India also imports about 60 per cent of raw cashew for processing from Africa and Asia.
Investors have opportunities to process and add value to raw cashews. The business is yet open now to new investors as competition in the industry is becoming fiercer, with the penetration risks posed by potential opponents. Also, the consumption demand is increasing with stricter requirements in terms of quality and food safety.
If growers are able to increase productivity and investors can establish processing factories, Nigeria could regain high production levels. There is room to further opportunities in the industry, such as processing cashew apple juice. It won't be long to achieve prosperity through the sector.
Improving opportunities through cashew value chain
Plantations is a good measure, but it is definitely not enough because to raise the added value in cashew production chain, production must be accompanied by an equal increase in processing capacity. Investors can focus on cashew processing to boost the performances of the sector and exports.
Boosting cashew production would create enterprises and processing factories. Thousands of farmers and workers would also enjoy improved livelihoods, thanks to cashew trees. Seeds shoul be improved to increase yield and output. Agricultural promotion policies, including policies on application of new varieties and advanced farming practices are also very important.
Industry needs include enough quality stocks for farmers, inputs, and better extension services, improved cashew storage and upgraded processing technology, expanded access to markets with better roads, raising environmental and social standards, and local banks encouraged to lend to smallholders and processors.