Mr Krishanu Chakravarty, Chief of Party, TechnoServe of Prosper Cashew, has said Nigerian cashew sector has the capacity of making 1.2 billion U.S. dollars between 2025 to 2030.
Chakravarty made this known on Thursday at the 16 African Cashew Alliance (ACA) Annual Cashew Conference in Abuja.
The event was with the theme: “Strengthening Sustainable Kernel & By-product Marketing in the African Cashew Industry.”
He said that the target of the cashew project would be to create more than 26,000 jobs and it could indirectly influence 133,000 citizens into the sector.
According to him, the project will last for five years and it is believed that the biggest strength of Nigeria is its domestic consumption, calling on Nigeria to tap into the market.
” What are we planning to do in Nigeria is to focus on building supply chain, introduction of traceability and improve the market opportunity for the processes, both for domestic and international markets.
”We try to see how to help farmers get access to finance and technical supports that will spread across all the countries that we are working with.
”We have mapped the landscape of cashew processing sector in Nigeria, we started thinking seriously on increasing the on production, which will have a big impact on the processing,” he said
He said for the farmers to be successful with processing, it is important that they upscale their production.
”In Nigeria most of the plants are more than 20 years old, we need to plant new trees, there is need to find out the geographical areas we can plant new trees,” he said.
Mr Ojo Ajanaku, National President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), said the association’s objective is to make the sector a profitable one.
” We will not just keep jobs for the people, we will also protect the social lives of our people.
”We need to encourage our farmers to keep cashew planting and it is our responsibility to help farmers protect their tress,” he said.
He said there was need for the law of demand to be implemented, because when you do not have need for what you are producing, nobody will buy from you.
” We are encouraging processing in Nigeria to create competitiveness. For the farmers to be encouraged in farming their product.
“Cashew is a God-given seed to us in Nigeria, it grows in about 26 states of the federation,” he said.
Mrs Obidike Evelyn, Director Product Development, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said the council had come into the limelight since the Federal Government is talking about moving away from dependence on oil.
Evelyn said what the council is doing now is to bring forex to the country and create employment for the people.
She commended the firm for the initiative in Nigeria and promised to sign MOU with it for the betterment of cashew farmers and processors.
According to her, the Nigeria market needs unique selling proposition in bringing up data driven innovations in terms of the production, processing, marketing sustainability, certification and traceability.