Nigeria targets $2 billion from cashew export
WITH the declining revenue profile from crude oil, Nigeria may be exploring new initiatives under the non-oil export arrangement, as efforts are underway to improve export of cashew nuts to developed countries.
Under the diversification agenda being driven by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the country is targeting at least $2 billion within the next two years as proceeds from the export of the commodity.
Executive Director of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, who revealed this over the week said that Nigeria exported cashew nuts worth $106 million to Vietnam in 2014.
With concerns expressed on the quality of cashew from Nigeria at a recent Vietnam-Nigeria cashew trade conference, Awolowo noted that the country has put in place a four-year plan to improve cashew exportation.
“We are working on a four-year development plan. We can make $2 billion in the next two years. We will scale-up the production of cashew nuts and export its raw kernels and also do processing. We have 13 national strategic export products that will replace crude oil in terms of their revenue generation. The future of Nigeria is bright,” he added.
The NEPC boss, who expressed optimism that the nation would soon return to its lost glory in exporting non-oil products, stressed that the decrease in the prices of oil in the international market was a blessing in disguise.
“The fall of the oil prices did not surprise us, but we have been working on the diversification of the economy under the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Master Plan. The idea is to fully diversify Nigerian economy by 2020,” he said.
Awolowo disclosed that measures are already in place to improve standards and high quality of products.
He also revealed that the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has established two international standard laboratories to test goods and products for export.
The Chairman of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Babatotla Faseru said the Nigerian market would improve its raw cashew quality by organising training courses for farmers and developing production chains.
He added that the country would also apply advanced equipment and technology to enhance cashew quality.
In a report by the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), in 2014, Vietnam produced a record 1.4 million tonnes of raw cashew nuts, 305,000 tonnes of which were exported, a rise of 16.9 percent from 2013.
“Throughout the year, Vietnamese enterprises imported 769,000 tonnes, a 59 per cent increase from 2013. As many as 13.4 per cent of the total imports were sourced from Nigeria”, the report said.
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