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FG Restates Commitment To Boost Cashew Value Chain

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FMARD Cashew
The president, Cashew Association of Nigeria, Hon. Ojo Ajanaku (fourth from left); Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar and President, African Cashew Alliance, Otunba Faseru when the farmers paid a courtesy call on the minister in his office in Abuja.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has reiterated the ministry’s commitment to collaborate with stakeholders in the cashew value chain towards enhancing the quality seedlings, increase production and income generation. 

The minister made this known when he received a delegation from the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) led by its president, Otunba Babatola Faseru in his office in Abuja. 

He pointed out that the focus of the present administration is the growth of the agricultural sector and once that is achieved there will be a set base for economic growth. 

The minister revealed that every single value chain in the agricultural sector is important and if they come together, they would make a big difference in the area of food and nutrition security. 

Speaking further, the minister said that the ministry would continue to support the cashew value chain, pointing out that the ministry had trained smallholder farmers on cashew production, processing and packaging of the product. 

He added that cashew had become a national commodity that grows across the 36 states of the federation, with cocoa in second place in terms of foreign exchange earnings to the economy. 

The minister commended the association for its efforts in planning the first ACA conference in Abuja, adding that it would improve the value chain and attract investors. 

Abubakar also assured the association that the ministry will be involved to make the forthcoming event a great success. 

Earlier Faseru explained that ACA is a non-governmental organisation created in 2005 to promote a globally competitive African cashew industry that would benefit the entire value chain from farmers to consumers, adding that Africa was losing over 2000 jobs. He noted that cashew could provide over 1000 jobs in Nigeria.

He, therefore, solicited the support of the ministry to move the cashew sub-sector forward. 

In his remarks, the president, Cashew Association of Nigeria, Hon. Ojo Ajanaku thanked the minister for his support and noted that Nigeria had about 600, 000 surviving cashew trees spread across the country. 

He maintained that currently, 75 per cent to 80 per cent of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria are exported, as only very few companies are involved in the local processing of the produce. 

The president, therefore, revealed that cashew can grow in any part of the country and that 60 per cent of the world’s cashew come from Africa.

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