Recent investigations has revealed that Nigeria loses as much as N12 billion to cashew smugglers annually, as 30 per cent of its produce are smuggled to neighbouring countries.
Reason for the high rate of smuggling has been attributed to the discrepancy in global market price. The 2015 global price of the commodity is $1,290 in Nigeria; Ghana – $1,525 and Benin – $1,600.
According to the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), the smuggled nuts are resold in Benin Republic at a premium at the international market. Other countries that received the smuggled commodity are Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
In 2014, Nigeria produced a total 144,000 tons of raw cashew nuts valued at N37.15 billion ($185 million), which was mainly exported to India and Vietnam. Of the 144,000, 103,046 metric tons was exported to Vietnam.
Nigeria is second largest cashew nut producer in the world, just a few metric tons behind Vietnam.
In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, its estimated nut production was rated at 580,761 metric tons, 650,000 metric tons , 813,023metric tons and 835,500 metric tons respectively.
The cashew nuts production comes from Kogi, Kwara, Oyo, Edo, Ondo, Anambra, Enugu, Benue, Cross River and Imo states.
Other states that produce the nuts are Sokoto, Nassarawa, Ogun, Osun, Plateau, Kebbi and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), among others.
Cashew nuts serve dietary, medicinal and industrial purposes and are in large demand for the production of anti-bacterial preparations, varnishes, insecticides and car brake pads.