Speaking at a pre-listing event of Agvest Limited, a player in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, experts observed that with over 14 states of the federation involved in the planting of cashew nuts, the country was literally sitting on a cash cow as they highlighted the opportunities in the cashew value chain.
Nigeria is the fourth largest producer of cashew nuts worldwide.
Addressing journalists at the event the Managing Director of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE), Mr. Akin Akeredolu-Ale, noted that Nigeria had opportunities to earn robust income from cashew nuts.
“Nigerian cashew sector is dominated by smallholder farmers. Numbered at about 25,000 and some commercial plantations, with an average cultivated area of 325,000 hectares, the local processing industry is growing gradually while there is a significant rise in export due to increased awareness of export potential and processing opportunities. Other actors in the ecosystems include local buying agents, processors, exporters, and service providers.
“The challenges around the production and processing of cashew in Nigeria mainly centre around the primary production of cashew from aged trees. Thanks to scientific research, there has been a substantial improvement in seed varieties that have introduced improved varieties which present primary production efforts to take advantage of the improved quality requirements of the international market,” he said.
The Chairman, Mega Group, Mr Sam Onukwue expressed optimism that LCFE would transform the commodities ecosystem and put it on the global map. He attributed one of the challenges that raw exporters face to inability to repatriate their funds back into the country.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director, Agvest, Mr Olabode Abikoye, while addressing journalists on Tuesday, explained that proceeds of the offer would enable the company to get both its plantation and factory up and running in West Africa at the first instance.
According to him, Agvest will commence with cashew aggregation on the spot market, issue exchange traded notes in the medium term and add value.