CEM REPORT, TRADE | As agricultural earnings become an important source of non-oil export earnings the Federal Government of Nigeria generated $250 million from the exports of cashew nuts in 2022.
This is as the government projects to generate $500 million by 2023.
According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Mohammed Abubakar, agriculture exports growth represents over 10% of GDP based on export data for 2022.
“In Nigeria, cashew is increasing in its importance as an export-oriented cash crop since the 1990s, it has become an important source of non-oil export earnings.
”It is estimated to represent over 10% of GDP based on export data of 2022 and it is becoming a commercial crop in Nigeria and is cultivated in 27 States including the FCT.
“In realisation of the importance of cashew, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development listed cashew as a priority crop.”
Cashew nuts export stood at N10.43 billion in Q3 2022, representing 12.3% of the total agric export in the review period.
Nigeria’s agricultural export stood at N84.21 billion in the third quarter of 2022, representing a 40.6% decline when compared to N141.77 billion recorded in Q2 2022.
However, this is a 6% increase compared to N79.41 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.
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Although, Nigeria imported agricultural goods worth N512.91 billion in Q3 2022, which is 10.4% higher than the N464.4 billion recorded in the previous quarter and 6.4% higher than the corresponding period of 2021 (Q3 2021: N482.21 billion).
Speaking during the Nigerian Cashew Day and cashew season commencement with the theme ‘Industrialising the Nigeria Cashew Sector through Inclusive Policies‘ the minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Dr Ernest Umakhihe, noted that the Agriculture export policy is part of the Import Substitution Strategy of the Buhari administration in collaboration with the Value Chain Programme of the ministry.
”It is being promoted under the Import Substitution Strategy of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Ministry had carried out some activities over the years to promote the growth of the value chain in the Country including the distribution of improved seeds/seedlings to cashew farmers free of charge.
“Establishment of cashew cottage industries in some states, distribution of agrochemicals/growth enhancers, carbon-free jute bags and knapsack sprayers. Others were the provision of water pumps to cashew farmers, conducting capacity building/training for cashew farmers and having sensitisation exercises.”
Also at the event, the President, of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Ojo Ajanaku, stated that Nigeria has gradually grown as an agriculture export hub and contributed to foreign exchange trading over the last three years by at least 11 per cent,
“This implies that the sector has the potential to drive national revenue generation, increase job creation and diversify the economy” he added.