The Nigerian government says plans are underway to raise the annual production capacity of cashew nuts to over 500,000 metric tonnes.
The Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo said this during a press briefing at the 16th Edition of the Annual Conference of the African Cashew Alliance holding in Abuja from 12 to 15 of September 2022.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Evelyn Ngige stated that presently the country produces about 260,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts annually.
According to him; “Out of the current production figure of 260.000 metric tonnes, 180.000 metric tonnes are traded as raw cashew nuts.”
“15,000 metric tonnes are processed into cashew kernels and about 10,000 metric tonnes of the kernel are exported.”
Mr Adebayo noted that there was a myriad of investment opportunities in the cashew sub sector which could generate immense wealth and employment for the citizenry.
He pointed out that Investment in the sector cuts across the cashew value chain from cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage, and marketing to exporting of either the raw cashew nuts or partially processed products.
“Presently, Nigeria has 15 active processing plants with an estimated capacity of 55, 750 metric tonnes and inactive plants with an estimated capacity of 8,500 metric tonnes,” Mr Adebayo stated.
“New investments are being planned for the development of 6 new plants, with an estimated capacity of 23.910 metric tonnes.”
The Minister however called on relevant stakeholders to ensure the 16th African Cashew Alliance Annual Conference being hosted by Nigeria, achieve a remarkable success.