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Poor cashew products packaging costs Nigeria huge forex, jobs Agric Minister

News » Business

Date: 1 FEBRUARY, 2013

Image: Cashew NUTS.

Poor handling of cashew locally has cost Nigeria huge loses in foreign exchange,  Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said.

Adesina made the observation at the second Stakeholders and Action Plan Formulation Forum organised by the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) on Wednesday in Lagos. He said the situation also denied the country of employment opportunities.

The minister was represented by Mr Olusi Adegbola, a Federal Director in the ministry. Adesina said that increasing cashew production of 120,000 tonnes by 20 per cent would create more than 344,000 jobs.

“Nigeria exports about 80 per cent of her annual cashew production in its raw form to India and Vietnam; only less than 20 per cent is processed locally.”

Though with low processing capacity, Nigeria still compares favourably well with the West African average of five to six per cent and East Africa’s of about 30 per cent.

“The study showed the multiplier effect of raw cashew nuts sold at 1,000 dollars will create 50 new jobs and household income of 1,143 dollars in the local economy.”

The minister added that processing only 50 per cent of Nigeria’s raw cashew nut annually would generate an additional income of 14 million dollars. Processing 50 per cent of Nigeria’s RCN annually would generate an additional income of 14,160,000 dollars basically for youths and women living in rural communities,” he said.

Adesina said that cashew has been added to the nine other crops being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in 2013.

The minister, while commending the association, said that the cashew industry had enormous potential, if grown sustainably as a major cash crop in Nigeria. He advised the association to continue to partner with other affiliate associations.

Article Credit: Vangaurd Newspaper

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