The National Cashew Association of Nigeria, NCAN, has said it is targeting 480 million dollars as foreign earnings from the export of cashew nuts in 2018.
The President of the association, Tola Faseru, said this in a telephone interview in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mr Faseru said that Nigerian cashew brand was presently gaining popularity and referred to as the best at the international market.
The president said that the association had set up a four-year cashew development road map to increase production to 500,000 tonnes.
He disclosed that the plan was also to enhance value addition of the produce up to about 70 per cent within four years.
Mr Faseru explained that the association was also targeting export earnings of about three billion dollars annually to match its Vietnamese counterpart in cashew production.
“If the crop comes out better, at least reaching 480 million dollars this year and with the push on value addition, by next year, we should have bigger result.
“Where we are going is to be able to do like Vietnam is doing which is doing about three billion dollars yearly, which is what we earn from all our non-oil export.
“This can only be done or achieved by scaling up production with our value addition, and setting up factories,’’ he said.
Mr Faseru said that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had agreed to support the produce, especially for its value addition to move beyond the export of raw cashew.
He noted that about N20 billion was needed to finance the exportation of cashew in 2018.
“Export is one area that requires finance, huge capital. We want about N20 billion to pursue the campaign for this year, so that people can have access to funding with less rigidity and low interest rates.’’
He quoted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, as saying “the Federal Government will give out three million cashew seedlings to support cashew farmers and boost production in 2018.’’
NCAN had in the past said that the country earned N144.7 billion (402 million dollars) from the export of raw cashew nuts to Vietnam and other countries in 2017.