Profits lie in processing

BR-BU_cashew.jpgCashew farmers could be earning much more by processing their crop © O Alawode

Cashew consumption is booming but the sector needs more support to take advantage of the growing market

While cashew nut consumption in Nigeria is booming, farmers are losing about 900% of what they could earn if they processed and packaged their cashew nuts to international standards. “The price of raw cashew nuts is about NGN 80,000 (€360) per ton,” says Sotonye Anga of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), “but when processed and packaged, the price is about NGN 1 million (€4,500) per ton.”

To reverse this trend, stakeholders are calling on the government to adopt a Cashew Intervention Fund, similar to the NGN 10 billion (€45 million) intervention fund for cassava that was established in 2013 to provide low interest loans to businesses along the cassava value chain. Interest in the cashew sector is currently high, following sensitisation by NCAN. “Lots of private investors resuscitated their abandoned cashew plantations and many more established new plantations,” says Anga. Street traders are increasingly selling locally-sourced cashews, and most Nigerian supermarkets stock branded cashew nuts. While this is good news for the industry, farmers could be earning much more by processing their crop.

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