Nigeria now seeks to export 500, 000 metric tonnes of cashew annually, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, has revealed.
Adebayo, who disclosed this at a media briefing to herald the commencement of the 16th edition of the African Cashew Alliance in Abuja, said Nigeria currently produces about 260,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts annually.
He was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Evelyn Ngige,
He revealed that plans are underway to raise the annual production capacity of cashew nuts to over 500,000 metric tonnes, adding that: “Of the current production figure of 260.000 metric tonnes, 180,000 metric tonnes are traded as raw cashew nuts. 15,000 metric tonnes are processed into cashew kernels and about 10,000 metric tonnes of the kernel are exported.”
The minister stated that huge investment opportunities abound in the sub-sector, adding that the investments cut across the cashew value chain.
He said: “There is a myriad of investment opportunities in the cashew sub-sector which could generate immense wealth and employment for the citizenry. Investment in the sector cuts across the cashew value chain from cultivation. harvesting, processing, storage, and marketing to exporting of either raw cashew nuts or partially processed products.
“Presently, Nigeria has 15 active processing plants with an estimated capacity of 55, 750 metric tonnes and 8 inactive plants with an estimated capacity of 8,500 metric tonnes. New investments are being planned for the development of 6 new plants, with an estimated capacity of 23,910 metric tonnes. This effort is expected to provide over a million direct and indirect employments for the teeming youths.”
He further revealed some of the government incentives in the sector which include “zero per cent (0%) duty on all agro-allied machines and equipment acquired for the production of cashew; 100 capital allowances granted to companies involved in cashew production and processing as well as enhanced capital allowance of up to 50% for agro-allied plant and equipment for cashew.
Other incentives, according to him, are “Companies involved in the processing of cashew nuts are listed under pioneer industry; companies involved in cashew processing enjoy income tax relief for
three years which can be extended to 5years, as well as Companies involved in cashew production and processing, are exempted from value-added tax.”
He assured that the Nigerian Government would continue to provide the needed policy direction and support for the growth and development of the cashew sector both in Nigeria and on the African continent.