The National Cashew Association of Nigeria, NCAN, has forecasted a 19.4 per cent rise in foreign earnings from the export of cashew nuts in 2018 to $480million from $402 million last year.
However, to achieve the projection, the sector will need about N20 billion to finance the exportation according to the President of NCAN, Mr Tola Faseru.
Faseru was quoted by News Agency of Nigeria as saying that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had agreed to support the produce, especially for its value addition to move beyond the export of raw cashew.
He said, “Export is one area that requires finance, huge capital. We want about N20 billion to pursue the campaign for this year, so that people can have access to funding with less rigidity and low interest rates.”
He also quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, as saying “the Federal Government will give out three million cashew seedlings to support cashew farmers and boost production in 2018.”
However, the long term export earnings projection of the association is about $3 billion annually as being done by Vietnamese counterpart.
Faseru was also encouraged to make the projected rise in earnings for 2018 by the high rating of the Nigerian cashew brand which was presently gaining popularity and referred to as the best at the international market.
Faseru said that the association had set up a four year cashew development road map to increase production to 500,000 tonnes.
He disclosed that the plan was also to enhance value addition of the produce up to about 70 per cent within four years.
He said, “If the crop comes out better, at least reaching $480 million this year and with the push on value addition, by next year, we should have bigger result, Workdstage reports.