Cashew farmers expects bumper harvest in 2018
Cashew farmers in Nigeria are expecting bumper harvest in 2018 owing to the early fruiting of most cashew trees across major cashew producing states in the country.
The farmers who spoke with BusinessDay stated that they are very optimistic that 2018 crop production will surpass that of this year as many new trees will start producing coupled with the early fruiting of most trees in key producing states.
“2017 was a wonderful year for cashew farmers and exporters. Our farmers will make more money in 2018 because output is expected increase by 10 percent,” said Anga Sontoye, publicity secretary, NCAN.
“For the first time in Nigeria’s cashew history, a ton of cashew at the farm gate price reached N700, 000 in 2017.
“We harvested a total of 175,000 metric tons in 2017 and expecting to increase the number by 10 percent in 2018. Having done our cashew survey for some key producing states, we realise that some cashew trees have started fruiting this implies that we are going to see an early crop from January and by February serious export will commence,” Sontoye said.
Nigeria’s cashew is usually harvested between February-June, though farmers stock the crop and export it all year round.
Export figures between April and June 2017 show that the cashew industry led the agricultural export for the period as export of the crop increased by 463 percent from N2.4 billion in first quarter 2017 to N13.5 billion in the second quarter of 2017 on a quarter-on-quarter basis, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“This year was a very good year for us and we are expecting increase in production for next year. A lot of new trees will start fruiting and this would increase our total production,” said Adeniji Ademola a cashew farmer in Oyo state
“Almost all the cashew trees on my farm have started fruiting. This is a good signal that next year harvest will be a very good one,” Ademola said.
The bulk of Nigeria’s cashew nuts and kernels are exported to Asia, Europe and the United States. Cashew crop can be grown in the entire South-West, South-South and South-East region, with Enugu, Oyo, Anambra, Osun and Kogi having the largest production areas.
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