Data available to MSMEsToday from the foreign trade statistics report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that Cashew nuts worth N5.26 billion were exported in Nigeria in the Q4, 2020. The foreign exchange earned from cashew nuts export consisted of N3.69 billion from exportation of cashew nuts in shell and N1.58 billion from cashew nuts, shelled.
Finding from the report shows that cashew nuts in shell and cashew nuts shelled occupied fourth and sixth position in the list of agricultural goods exported in the Q4, 2020 accounted for 9.43% of the N55.8 billion exports agricultural goods value for the period under review.
Cashew is a multipurpose crop, which is mainly cultivated for the nuts’ consumption, medicine and source of income for top producing countries of the world. It is a nut tree found in the tropics. It originated from Central Brazil. The tree is estimated to live up to 50 to 60 years and it starts bearing fruits within the third and the fifth year. The return on investment of cashew ranges between 30 to 40 percent within 3-5 years of cultivation; this implies that cashew farming is a profitable business.
Experts suggested that increasing production of cashew should be paramount in Nigeria as the demand for cashew in European confectionary industries is increasing. The farmers should have access to improved varieties with better quality and yield from research institutes in order to benefit from the growing cashew nut industry.
Data from Food and Agriculture Organization ranked Nigeria second among the top ten producers of cashew nut in the world with 675,266 tons. However, from 2010, there has been a decline with the latest volume of production of 100,000 tons in 2019 despite the increase in world production. Nigerian World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews shows that, currently the price of cashew is N552, 757.24 per ton up from N180, 011 in 2003.
MSMEsToday finding revealed that India, Tanzania and Mozambique introduced G-series cashew which has the potential to increase production to 1000kg/ha. The potentials of Nigerian cashew nut value chain have not been fully utilized despite the fact that it is a profitable enterprise. There is need for more research funding in the use of cashew nut product and by-products as it can fetch more income to the nation.
Global Latest trend in cashew nut shows a global growth rate of 7-10 % annually and it is projected to reach 730,000 metric tons and projected demand by 2023 /2024 is estimated to reach 4,500,000 metric tons. The main consuming countries are India, United States of America, Countries of European Union, China and Middle East. Africa is responsible for 55 percent of world cashew nut production while India and Vietnam are the top cashew processing countries. Vietnam has recently introduced new technologies, thus becoming highly competitive against African producers.
Opportunities in cashew value chain cannot be overemphasize. The conceptual framework of the cashew value chain shows the various actors in the value chain and how intending participants can partake and the roles to play in order to further strengthen the value chain.
The adaptability of cashew to harsh climatic conditions and poor soils provide farmers the opportunities of establishment of new plantations and expansion of old ones. Producers can explore the opportunities in processing by establishing on-farm processing units as a value addition activity, which will in turn improve their earnings. Processing of cashew nut focuses on income generation and employment opportunities, which can be exploited.
On the other hand, exporters and marketers can explore the opportunities presented by the growing demand for raw cashew nuts in the international markets. Establishment of cashew processing business in Africa will give opportunities to development of a sustainable supply chain with direct business linkage to local farmers, cooperatives and exporters. Studies showed that with worldwide production yield of 1.7 million tons, 450,000 jobs could be created which will result in stable income and better food security milestones.