Obaseki sees job prospects as firm unveils cashew-processing facility
Farmforte Agro & Allied Solutions Limited has unveiled a cashew-processing facility in Benin City to create more jobs and boost the economy of Edo State.
The unveiling was done by Governor Godwin Obaseki and witnessed by the representative of Edo South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, and other guests.
The company, in a statement, noted that the move was also to sustain market access for over 112,000 smallholder farmers within the agriculture value chain.
The state-of-the-art factory has a production capacity of 24MT per day and would provide jobs for youths and people of the state.
Farmforte co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said: “This new processing facility is in line with our long-term commitment to creating sustainable outcomes in the agric-value chain. We believe this facility will enable us increase cashew nut processing capacity and export less raw commodity, thereby increasing Nigeria’s access to global market.”
In his remarks, Obaseki said: “Government will continue to support the private sector to enable it create more jobs, expand into new markets and reduce risk. With this new facility, Farmforte is adding value and encouraging farmers to increase the harvesting of cashew nuts and fruits, enabling Edo State to become the number one cashew producer in Nigeria.”
Despite being one of the largest producers of the crop, Nigeria is yet to tap into the economic value that could be derived from locally processed cashew nuts.
The firm observed that currently, raw cashews are exported and processed into cashew nuts by foreign countries and then sold to Europe and back to Nigeria, adding: “This is an economic challenge Farmforte is working towards to change.”
A co-Chief Executive Officer, Uyi Osayimwense, stressed that quality was a major factor in their operations.
He said: “At Farmforte, we are reinventing Nigeria’s cashew industry by investing in a state-of-the-art processing plant that can process large amounts of cashew at export standard. Presently, we source raw cashew from local smallholder farmers and make sure kernel out-turn ratio (KOR) is 49 and upwards to ensure maximum quality.”