Nigerian Export Import Bank, NEXIM and Ecobank Plc., have pledged to intervene in the cashew sector to enable the stakeholder have access to finance so that they would be able to grow the sector.
In a keynote address by Managing Director of NEXIM, Mr. Robert Orya, he noted that Nigeria, the world’s 6th largest producer of cashew, with annual production of about 120,000 tonnes, will be a good employer of labour if properly harnessed.
Represented by Rev. Ifeanyi C. Nwade, he said that his bank, NEXIM has disburst a total of $50 million to the cashew sector from 2002 till date, adding that they spent not less than N1 billion on cashew and promised that they were willing to spend more on the commodity.
The cashew industry, according to the NEXIM boss also provides about 600,000 jobs and a total annual trade worth N24 billion, making the sector a major contributor to Nigeria’s non-oil GDP.
Mr. Orya said that the Nigerian cashew industry has continued to operate below its potentials, explaining that the industry is challenged with a myriad of problems ranging from old/low yielding plantations to inadequate processing facilities and low level of access to finance.