Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says the country exported 315,677 metric tons of raw cashew nuts worth $252 million in 2022 and hopes to double the earnings to $504 million.
Last year, the commodity accounted for 5.24 per cent of the country’s non-oil export portfolio.
This is contained in the data obtained by the NEPC from various pre-shipment inspection agents.
NEPC Executive Secretary, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, disclosed that raw cashew was the fifth leading non-oil exportable product in Nigeria in the 2022 Non-Oil Performance Report.
According to Yakusak the aim of the project is to support the Nigeria cashew sector and increase cashew productivity and efficiency, improve crop quality, and improve harvest and post-harvest techniques.
“In 2022, our non-oil performance export performance indicated that cashew was the fifth 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,” he said.
He disclosed this in a keynote at the launch of the organic cashew certification programme for exports in Abuja.
The programme was put together by the NEPC, NICERT, Valency Ltd and the PRO-Cashew. It is a five-year project aimed at forging a strategic partnership to accelerate the required growth in the non-oil export sector.
The NEPC boss said: “Nigeria’s cashew export trade is largely hampered by non-adherence to food safety standards, lack of traceability, low yield per hectare, poor practices and aging trees. Also, most of the processed cashew kernels are very low and account for about 16 per cent of cashew export, even as the primary cashew produced export is mostly the conventional and not organic certified cashew.
“We felt there is an urgent need to collaborate and chart a pathway with deliberate and planned activities to address the issues plaguing the Nigerian cashew sector.”