The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, has reaffirmed its dedication to boosting cashew export revenues from 252 million to 500 million in 2023.
This was said on Thursday at the launch of the organic cashew certification program in Nigeria for export by the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak.
By assisting the Nigerian cashew industry, the five-year program with NEPC, Nicert, Valency Limited, and PRO-Cashew aims to boost growth in the non-oil export sector.
He said that the effort will help people gradually switch over to organic cashews, whose export ensures a specialized market and higher prices.
Yakusak stated that the project’s objectives are to promote the Nigerian cashew industry, boost cashew productivity and efficiency, enhance crop quality, and enhance harvest and post-harvest practices.
Yakusak stated that value-adding was required despite the fact that Nigeria exported 315,677 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts worth 252 million dollars in 2022, making up 5.24 percent of Nigeria’s non-oil export portfolio.
“In 2022, our non-oil performance export performance indicated that cashew was the 5th leading non–oil exportable product in Nigeria.
“We felt that we need to encourage this product and ensure that the potential from cashew is better harnessed.
“We exported cashew worth about 252 million dollars in 2022 and with the launch of the project we hope to double it this year,’’ Yakusak said.
Despite being the fifth-largest non-oil exportable good in Nigeria in 2022, he voiced concern that the entire economic potential inherent in cashew export had not been fully realized.
The project, according to Yakusak, will solve problems affecting the Nigerian cashew industry.
He said that a number of factors, including poor practices, ageing trees, lack of traceability, low yield per hectare, and non-compliance with food safety requirements, were major hindrances to Nigeria’s cashew export industry.
Choosing organic farming practices will allow Nigeria to lessen its dependency on poisonous and damaging chemicals, according to Annabel Kamuche, the Group Managing Director of Nicert, a private organization that provides international certification for export products.
In addition to fostering soil health, Kamuche claimed that Nigeria might also build a stronger and more resilient food system.
“As we continue to face challenges related to climate change and environmental degradation, it is critical that we adopt sustainable practices that minimise harm to the planet and support local communities.
“It is thing of pride for Nigeria that it has started making mark in the usage of organic products where apart from cashew, crops like turmeric, honey sesame, soybean, hibiscus are gaining substantial grounds.
“Nicert is confident that in the coming years, Nigeria will be among the front runners in the global organic sector with more value chains participating in organic agriculture,’’ Kamuche stated.