Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has revealed the Federal Government’s plan towards setting up cashew processing plants in four states of the nation, with the expected reward of giving value to the produce and also creaing room for employment.
Ogbeh revealed during an exclusive interview that the move is also geared towards reducing the waste of cashew fruits and delay in the export of raw nuts out of the country.
Hence, he expressed his dissatisfaction about the country currently wasting an estimated 8 million tonnes of cashew fruits annually, which he believes with the right infrastructure could do a lot good to the economy .
However, he claimed the long term solution to the delay in export and stocking of cashew nuts at the ports was for Nigeria to be exporter of finished products rather than raw materials.
Furthermore, Ogbeh made mention of the states where the plants would be set up to be Enugu in the east, Benue in the middle belt , Kogi and Oyo in the north and western region respectively.
“The challenge is usually access to credit because a good processing cashew line will cost you about two million dollars to do something like 10 to 20 tonnes a day’
” We are targeting that to set up at least one plant each in Enugu and Benue, two plants each in Kogi and Oyo state. These are the leading cashew producers now.”
Meanwhile, Ogbeh also assured the cashew stakeholders about the FG’s plans that to stop the export of raw nuts, process all homegrown cashews and to acquire one or two plants ready before next year, which happens to be one of the government’s next level activities.