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  • Farmers To Experience Slight Decline In Cashew Production

    Apr 12th, 2024

    There are indications that cashew farmers in major growing areas will experience a slight decrease in this year’s cashew production due to the harsh harmattan that comes with excessive heat.  The excessive heat according to experts will not allow flowers bud properly to produce the cashew fruits. 

    In Nigeria, cashew is usually harvested between February and June, though farmers stock the crop and export it all year round. 

    Nigeria is the fourth largest producer of cashew nuts in Africa and sixth globally, with production estimated at 240,000 metric tonnes per annum. 

    Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue, kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia are some of the cashew producing states in the country Nigeria. 

    Tola Faseru, President of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), in an interview said that the harsh harmattan season has affected cashew trees in major producing states at the most critical stages of production, resulting in the withering of flowers during the reproductive stage. 

    Faseru, who is also the Commissioner for Agriculture in Osun State, said that although the weather has supported the quality of the nuts, particularly in Oyo, Ogun, and Kogi. 


    He said that the quality of the Nigerian cashew has improved tremendously in recent years. 

    He noted that work is ongoing to boost local production of cashews in the country, and that farmers are currently supported to switch to the use of high-yield varieties while governments at the federal and state levels are making possible the availability of large areas suitable for the cultivation of the nuts. 

    “The weather has supported the quality of the nuts, particularly in Oyo, Ogun, and Kogi. The quality of the Nigerian cashew has improved tremendously in recent years,” he said. 

    Ojo Ajanaku, the National President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), said that the association is still hopeful that the country can still see a marginal rise in production as trees have started flowering again. 

    He said that prices have not been favourable for cashew farmers, unlike cocoa farmers who are currently laughing all the way to the bank. 

    According to him, “Cashew prices have been stable at the international market unlike cocoa where there has been a price rally. 

    “Also, the recent strengthening of the naira is also affecting cashew farmers because most exporters bought the nuts at the beginning of the season when the exchange was higher and exported it and now converting the export proceeds back to naira, the exporters are earning less,” he said. 

    Speaking further he said that a metric ton of cashew sells for about $970 in Vietnam and $1,050 in India at the international market and that a metric ton of dried cashew nuts now sells for N1 million in Lagos as against N1.6 million sold when the season commenced in late January, indicating a 44 percent drop in price. 

    Debo Thomas, Chief Executive of Hastom Nigeria, a cashew growing and exporting business, said production will be poor this year because of the excessive harmattan as flowers that were supposed to transform to fruits have all dried up in most trees in Ogbomosho, a top growing community of the nuts in Oyo. 

    “The harmattan has been characterized by dry wind, cold at night and hot during the day, transporting dusty particles that strongly contribute to the destruction of the cashew flowers,” he said.