Federal Government has said it plans to support the increase in the production of Cashew nut from 260 Metric tonnes, MT, from what the country is currently produces, to 500 metric tonnes, on an annual basis. This was even as it stated that out of the 260 metric tons of kernel volumes of cashew nut, the country exports about 10, 000 metric tonnes, adding that 180mt are traded as raw cashew nuts. He said the move by the Buhari-led administration on deliberate policies to diversify the economy away from its over-dependence on oil and gas sector has increased the commodity’s production in the country. Adebayo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, said this at the 16th edition of the annual conference of the African Cashew alliance.
Amongst other things, Adebayo said zero per cent duty has been placed on all Agro-alled machines and equipment acquired for the production of cashew. According to him, as of today, Nigeria produces about 260,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts annually. Plans are ongoing to raise the annual production capacity of cashew nuts to well over 500,000 metric tonnes. Out 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. “Capital allowances are granted 100% to companies involved in cashew production and processing. Agro-allied plant and equipment for cashew enjoy enhanced capital allowance of up to 50%. 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. Companies involved in cashew production and processing are exempted from value-added tax. Agricultural machinery and equipment being imported for cashew processing enjoy import duty waiver”, he added. He said that 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. He said that new investments are being planned for the development of 6 new plants, with an estimated capacity of 23.910 metric tonnes, adding that the move is expected to provide over a million direct and indirect employment for the teeming youths.
In his remarks, President Board of Director, Cashew Alliance, Otumba Tola Faseru, disclosed that Nigeria is the 5th largest Cashew producer in the world. According to Faseru, we are looking at how cashew can provide employment in our country and stop exportation of our jobs to other countries. “Right now, $450 million is been generated annually from cashew through exportation. We are also looking at generating $4 billion annually in the nearest future between three to years.