The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Africa Cashew Alliance and West Africa Pro-Cashew are making frantic efforts at increasing Nigeria’s annual cashew production to 500,000 metric tons, that will generate about $4bn revenue.
At the maiden policy dialogue with cashew stakeholders in Lagos, the Chief of Party, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), Jean Francois Guay noted that Nigeria is the second largest cashew producer and exporter in West Africa with potentials to increase export; provided appropriate attention is paid to increase productivity, quality and value addition.
Also speaking, Shakti Pal, regional policy expert, Cashew Value Chain, Pro-cashew said the sector needed restructuring to ensure sustainable earnings for players in the value chain. He further stated that the commodity has enormous potentials in the global market especially when proper quality measures are ensured for the export products.
The country representative, Nigeria, West Africa PRO-Cashew, Olorunfemi Toyin explained that the Pro-Cashew project began in Nigeria this year with the commissioning of a baseline survey to identify the challenges in the Cashew Sector and proffer the way to improve on production and value addition through research in Nigeria Cashew Value Chain through the deployment of research activities methodologies that will remedy the gaps.
In the same vein, Roland Oroh, Chairman, National Cashew Steering Committee said he noted that the Development Gateway (DG) is
partnering with CNFA alongside USDA West Africa Pro-Cashew project to develop the Cashew-IN data collection and analysis platforms. The project has identified gaps in data collection, storage, usage and dissemination in cashew sector in all five implementing countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria). Oroh, currently observed that institutions such as the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria
(CRIN); the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD); the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI); Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN); National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Nigeria Agribusiness Register (NAR) all have some bits of cashew data, that are to be aggregated to give real time value for the data users. He said the plan is to have a single data platform for all stakeholders in cashew sector.