Cashew farmers in the country, under the aegis of National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), has said that it is in talk with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to urge Bank of Industry, (BOI) and Nigerian Export Import (NEXIM) bank to invest in processing and value addition of cashew.
Ojo Ajanaku, National President of the Association during a telephone interview with our Correspondent said that it is important to invest heavily in processing of cashew, as it is highly capital intensive.
He called for support for potential processors in the country as he said most of them are processing below capacity, and that the facilities have been moribund due to financial challenge.
“Let us invest in the potential processors we have here in Nigeria or to resuscitate the ones that are moribund due to financial issues. Those ones that are working, they are not working to full capacity, we need to see how they can be supported because processing is highly capital intensive.
“Cashew is a seasonal produce and they need to work throughout the year which means they need a lot of capital to stock what they will process throughout the year. So they need support from banks.
“If you are getting money from our commercial banks, there is no way you can compete with international market, the support have to come from NEXIM bank, BOI or Bank of Agriculture (BOA); those are the banks that can help because the interest rate of the banks are still favourable, and you can compete with the international market unlike when you go to our commercial bank, you will not be able to sell at the same price the international market is selling. We are working strongly to see how we can be assisted,” he said.