Apart from being nutritionally rich, cashew is rich in oils and contains moderate amounts of carbohydrate and protein. The cashew nut which is the seed is of high commercial value. To extract this seed, the shell must be removed. The shell contains a skin blistering oil which is highly valued for its many industrial applications. The oil when extracted contains oleic acid (about 74percent and 18percent protein). The oil is used as a medicine, an irritant, wood protectant and a source of resin. The young leaves are sometimes used as flavouring and also as a medicine. The yellow gum obtained as an exudate from incisions made in the bark is used mainly as adhesive. The wood of the plant (when dead) is utilised in several ways, and the bark to some extent for tanning and yellow dye.
Market potentials/project justification
The demand (local and foreign) for cashew nut is rising steadily and prices are good. It is a good source of foreign exchange. The nuts are heavily consumed in temperate countries. They are either prepared as delicacies or used in confectioneries. North America and Europe are known as the largest consumers of cashew nut.
Cashew therefore has a lot of export market potentials. Local industries can also be encouraged to process cashew nuts. Recent government policy has made cashew production to gain a very tremendous popularity. This is because of the boost given to the non-oil exports.
A lot of abandoned cashew plantations located in the Northern parts of Oyo state (Iseyin, Saki, Oyo and Ogbomoso) have been re-activated by their owners. Suddenly cashew production is being seen as one of the major sources of foreign exchange earnings.
Therefore, the establishment of cashew plantation is one of the investment opportunities for Nigerian investors. Not only because of its foreign exchange potentials but also it is a life investment for its owners. This project is strongly recommended for consideration by investors.
A medium-sized factory is acquired where the processing plant is installed. Cashew nuts processing involves procurement of dried cashew from produce buyers. Cashew is heavily grown in Oyo North, Ondo, Kwara, Kogi, Benue and some Northern states. The production processes are parboiling, drying. cracking, sorting and packaging for local and export markets.
Cashew nuts have ready market in the America, Europe and Asia
The plant capacity is about 250 metric tonnes per annum. The average selling price per tonne of cashew is a about N200,000. Turnover of N50 million is achievable. 25percent profit margin is being calculated. This gives us net income of N12.5 million annually.
Serious minded investors can be assisted in the establishment of this project. Author’s contact: Tel: 080-23058045, E-mail: [email protected]