Some cashew farmers on Sunday said they recorded huge sales and made profits from cashew nuts during the 2015 cashew season.
The National Cashew Association of Nigeria, NCAN, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos that the current global market trends showed an increase in demand for cashew.
The association’s spokesperson, Sotonye Anga, said that this was due to Good Agricultural Practice and improvement introduced to farmers in 2014.
“We are glad to witness the prosperity of cashew farmers in Nigeria. It goes a great deal to show that NCAN is working and in collaboration with government and our development partners.
“The current global market trends show an increasing and strong demand for cashew and Nigeria will continue to deliver its quota and remain relevant in the cashew world.
“I therefore, urge our cashew farmers nationwide to be serious with the cashew business and be committed to GAP and quality improvement protocols so as to get the cash in cashew.
“It is obvious that local cashew farming and processing holds a great potential for national economic growth, development, employment creation and better income for farmers in rural areas,” he said.
According to Mr. Anga, with little more steps to support the sub-sector by the Federal Government, cashew will soon become the number one cash crop in Nigeria.
He said, “We hope to do much more for the cashew sector and create more prosperity for our cashew farmers, cashew processors, traders and exporters.’’
Mr. Anga said that Africa produced over 50 per cent of the world’s cashew and Nigeria was among the top three largest cashew producers in Africa.
He said about 400,000 hectares of land was being used for cashew production across the country.
Mr. Anga, however, noted that Nigeria’s annual yield per hectare was low because the nation’s current annual production stood at 150,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts.
He said the association was moving forward by rejuvenating cashew plantations and increasing the area of land under cashew production in Nigeria.
He said the recent successes of cashew farmers in some parts of Kogi State had further encouraged the association to continue its drive to empower cashew farmers nationwide.
He said cashew farmers were already clearing their farms for the 2016 season.
Some cashew farmers in Umoni Village, Ofu Local Government Area in Kogi said on telephone that they were happy with the development as their lives had become better.
A cashew farmer, Samuel Haruna, said he was able to roof his family house with the sales he recorded from the 2015 cashew season.
Mr. Haruna, who had been in the cashew business for more than 20 years, said he never really made profit from selling raw cashew nuts as much as he made in 2015 season.
“I was able to buy 14 bundles of roofing zinc to roof my family house. I have been involved in cashew farming for 20years and I never had it this good.
“This 2015 cashew season was really good for me and for my people, I realised good money from the sale of cashew.
“We cashew farmers from Umoni village are very happy; we are pleased with the activities of NCAN and all the efforts at improving cashew farmer’s livelihood.
“This year I made good money from my cashew farm for the first time. Not just me but other cashew farmers made good money too,” he said.
A 30-year-old cashew farmer, Joel Thomas, said that he bought a jeep from the sale of cashew recently.
Another cashew farmer, also from Umoni Village, Ibrahima Sule, said he bought a Toyota car from the sale of cashew in 2015.
A 35-year-old, Isaac Idanyi, said he was able to build a four-bedroom flat from the sale of cashew nuts.