Foreign markets blacklist cashew nuts produced in Nasarawa

NEWS DIGEST – The National Cashew Association of Nigeria, NCAN, has disclosed that foreign markets are now rejecting cashew nuts produced in Nasarawa Sate due to poor harvest.

Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia, the Trade and Stability Coordinator of the association (North Central), Garba Kontagora, said farmers in the state are also losing about N300m yearly due to the poor harvest.

According to him, for about two years, the state had not participated in the national programmes on cashew production.

Mr Kontagora explained that the decision of the marketers to reject the produce stemmed from the fact that most cashew nuts from the state are unripe and below standard.

“Nasarawa State has the third-best cashew nut in the country but because of poor harvest, the state is now rejected in the foreign market while Kwara has taken over the place of the state.

“Last year, we had a programme in Abuja where new seedlings were distributed but unfortunately, Nasarawa was not present in the event which has affected the state negatively.

“With cashew nut business about 3000 youths can be gainfully employed because of the value chain from harvest to shipping,” Mr Kontagora explained.

The MCAN coordinator, who doubles as the Assistant Vice-President (North) and executive member of African Cashew Alliance, said farmers needed to be sensitized on the best practices for cashew production and quality.

“Farmers in Nasarawa need awareness on best practices for their product to be re-injected into the world market because produce from the state has been blacklisted,” he added.

Mr Kontagora, therefore, urged the state government to key into the new cashew programme initiated by the Federal Government to boost revenue generation and employment opportunities in the state.