The Federal Government, African Cashew Alliance and National Cashew Association of Nigeria on Wednesday expressed their commitment to make Nigeria’s cashew globally competitive, to grow the country’s foreign exchange earnings through cashew exports.
They made the commitment during a courtesy visit by ACA and NCAN to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abubakar Mahmood, in Abuja.
The President, ACA, Babatola Faseru, told the minister that the vision of the alliance was to create a sustainable cashew industry that would deliver global competitiveness to secure profitability for all actors in the industry.
He stated that through the ACA partnership, which had Nigeria as member, cashew producers had received support from both public and private stakeholders, advocacy, linkages, technical assistance and global networking.
“ACA has successfully created a platform for accelerating growth and investments in the African cashew industry,” he stated.
The National President, NCAN, Ojo Ajanaku, said the objective of the association was to build a sustainable Nigerian cashew industry for the benefit of all stakeholders in the value chain.
“Our members are cashew farmers, traders, processors, exporters, researchers, and all service providers in the cashew value chain,” he stated.
Ojo informed the minister that cashew had become a national commodity as it was grown in the 36 states of Nigeria and second to cocoa in terms of foreign exchange earnings to the economy.
In his response, the minister congratulated Faseru on his election as the first Nigerian to occupy the office of the President, Board of Directors, African Cashew Alliance.
Mahmood stated that ACA’s vision of creating a sustainable african cashew industry that delivers global competitive value-added products culminating into jobs creation was in tandem with what the Cashew Value Chain Development Programme of the Federal Government.
“Cashew is among the crops being promoted under the ministry’s value chain programme geared towards sustainable development of the industry and ensuring its contribution in achieving the overall goal of this administration’s economic diversification agenda,” he stated.
He said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would continue to collaborate and support all efforts to develop and move the cashew industry forward.
To this end, the minister approved two technical officers in his ministry to be part of the Local Organizing Committee of the forthcoming ACA conference and to report back to him in areas the ministry’s support would be needed for the successful hosting of the event.
Mahmood implored ACA and NCAN to continue working together in harmony as this was the only way to achieve positive impact and sustainable development of the cashew industry.