The subsisting with National Executives of Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) which consists of farmers, processors and exporters of Cashew from across the country has met the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar not only to present their score cards but also to seek the intervention of Government at resolving some challenges confronting Cashew initiatives as well as attend the up-coming Cashew Summit.
The NCAN delegation which was led by the President of the Association, Mr. Tola Fasheru, First Vice-president, Mr. Steven Ahiaba, VP West, Mr. Saliu Alasa,VP East CJ Kanu, VP N Mr. John Olonta and the rest members of the executive came to introduce themselves to the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Industry and to among other things, seek FG’s support to immediately stop foreign nationals encroachment into farm gates of Nigerian Cashew farmers, solution to Apapa Gridlock which they say is natively impacting on export as well as provision of 2,600, 000 Jutebags to pack cashew nut harvest for 2108.
Other requests of the NCAN include 20 Billion Naira to finance 2018 cashew export which the Association says it already has a contract value 122 billion Naira for, more active involvement of FPIS in the less than 10% Cashew Moisture Protocol in the farm gates across the country.
The group highlighted their achievements which includes being the 4th largest producer of Cashew in the World’s production of 2, 100, 000 tons by producing 220, 000 mts in 2017 and exporting 120, 000 mts cashew nuts in 2017.
The NCAN disclosed further that their contribution to national export earnings from cashew has been on the steady rise since 2015 when their export earnings rose from US$152,000,000 (2015) to US$259,000,000 in 2016 and US$402,050,000 in 2017. NCAN further disclosed that their major trading partner are the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) and further business alliances with African Cashew Alliance(ACA), USAID/NEXTT and a collaboration with Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).
The NCAN President commended the commitment of the Federal Government to repositioning the economy through Cashew and also disclosed preference for the Nigeria brand of Cashew nuts internationally.
When she was responding, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to support the Association for the fact that Cashew Association is one of the most-focused commodity associations. She also commended the contribution NCAN to the huge improvements in cashew farming, processing and production and further, to the growth of the national economy in the areas of job creation and boosting foreign exchange earnings.
She promised that urgent necessary steps will be taken to ameliorate the problems of Cashew farmers and exporters in collaboration with other agencies directly involved with the identified challenges to Cashew production, packaging and export.
Hajia Abubakar however disclosed to the National Cashew Association Executives that the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari believes very much in the Rule of Law and would not favour tenure elongation of any sort. She therefore, advised the present executives of NCAN to go back and do soul-searching, put necessary things in place and come back to explore further cooperation of her Ministry.