By Mercy Omoike
The Nigerian National Cashew Association (NCAN) called for increased funding for cashew farmers to improve crop productivity.
According to him, cashew has great potential for profitability but the major challenge is access to funds for startups, expansion of processing and exports.
“Growing and processing cashews is a lucrative business in Nigeria. It was even before independence. It dates back to 1958.
“For more than five decades, cashew has been shown to be relevant for generating income, reducing unemployment and a major contributor to economic diversification.
“Like any business, cashews face many challenges. Across the entire cashew value chain, the major challenge is access to finance.
“Access to finance affects all aspects of and trade in cashews, from agriculture to harvesting, processing and exports.
“To start growing cashew nuts, you need long-term funding. Short term loans cannot help the cashew farmer.
“We also have the challenge of accessing funds, many people who are entering the cashew business or who want to expand their farm do not have access to finance.
“We also need to tackle the high cashew interest rates, because they need to be single digits,” Anga said.
The expert noted that the plantation of cashew trees in Nigeria was originally aimed at curbing erosion due to its complex root system.
According to him, the cashew nut trade has grown so much in recent times that it is called the “green gold” of agriculture in the country.
“When the cashew nut trade started, it was mainly to stop erosion in the country. It was a response to erosion due to its extensive root system. Its root system sinks deep into the soil and compacts it.
The cashew tree becomes your first defense against erosion. Reducing erosion has been the main problem that the cashew nut has solved.
“Initially, we only ate cashews as fruit and we threw the nuts away. Finally, we realized that we could sell the nuts, hence the start of cashew nut exports.
“As the business became lucrative, more and more people entered the business, hence its popularity as the ‘green gold’ of agriculture.
Anga also listed the benefits of cashew as it encourages the constant consumption of its nuts.
“Cashews are low in sugar and high in fiber, the fat in cashews is healthy and sweet to the heart. It contains copper and magnesium and is beneficial for human health. “
According to him, people prefer cashews over other nuts because of its benefits. It is the preferred nut, ”said the expert. (NOPE)
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