• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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FG moves to boost FX earnings from cashew, trains farmers in Imo

FG moves to boost FX earnings from cashew, trains farmers in Imo

Having achieved a N41.27 billion annual revenue benchmark from cashew exports, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), an Agency of Federal Government, is pulling all strings to ensure that Nigeria produce more cashew for local consumption and exports, thereby, increasing both domestic and foreign exchange earnings.

Consequently, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) at the weekend organized an intensive training for 100 cashew farners in Imo State, being one of the cashew producing States, which accounts for over 1,000 metric tonnes of the produce annually and has also helped the Country in achieving N41.27 billion annual revenue on cashew produce exports.

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The programme, which took place at NEPC’s Office in Owerri, Imo State Capital, was aimed at preparing cashew farmers on proper commercial production and processing for the purpose of export with a view to earning greater foreign exchange and revenue locally.

Speaking at a day quality improvement sensitisation programme held for the stakeholders in Owerri, the State Capital on cashew value chain development, Nonye Ayeni, the Executive Director of the NEPC, said the training was necessary to consolidate efforts so far made in cashew production, processing and exportation.

Ayeni, who was represented by Anthony Ajuruchi, the NEPC Coordinator in Imo and National Team Lead on Cashew, said that Nigeria being the fourth in the World and Africa’s highest producer of cashew, should maintain her pride of place and leading role .

Emphasizing NEPC”s mantra on cashew production and exports, which is tagged, “Doubling Our Exports for Economic Growth and Job Creation”, the Executive Director said, “cashew holds a huge foreign exchange potential for Nigeria and we cannot afford not to double our efforts and as the highest producer of cashew in Africa, we have the potential for unparalleled greatness and we must harness it, hence this workshop.”

Ayeni however said that the NEPC might consider supply of improved seedlings to committed farmers in Imo as an incentive to encourage cashew farming, adding that multinational organisations such as the African Alliance and GIZ were prepared for holistic partnerships with Nigerian farmers on processing to enable them meet increasing demand.

Also speaking, Sunday Uzoechi, the Pioneer President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) and member, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Association, urged the Government at all levels to prioritise non-oil exports to revive the economy.

Read also: African Cashew Alliance taps Cambodia to boost cashew output

He also urged farmers, marketers and processors of cashew to recommit to its production for best results.

Simon Ezikeiheoma, Chairman of NCAN in Imo, said that a large production of cashew was ongoing in Okigwe, Okwudor and Awomamma Areas of Imo State where there are large clusters, producing annually over 1000 metric tonnes of cashew.