Cashew is an agro export crop. Cashew is currently being cultivated for its kernel, a repository of all classes of nutrients which is traded world-wide.
Nigeria is one of the top ten Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) producing countries in the world the third largest producers in Africa after Cote D’voire and Tanzania.
The nation’s annual production of raw cashew nuts stands at 150,000 tones.
As abysmal as it may sound, Nigeria currently processes only about 10% of the raw cashew nuts produced in the country. The rest of the nuts find their way to Asia and other countries where they are processed and exported back to Nigeria as finished and packaged cashew kernels.
Cashew is grown in 2/3 of the 36 states in Nigeria. However the cashew nuts of export quality and quantity is mainly found in the Western and Eastern states, namely; Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun states, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia states. The Nigerian Cashew is also found to grow in the middle belt states mainly; Nassarawa, Benue, Kogi and Kwara states.
The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives that can be used in many applications from lubricants to paints.
In confectionery and bakery products, for example, finely chopped kernels are used in the production of sweets, ice creams, cakes and chocolates, both at home and industrially and as paste to spread on bread.
Cashew (Raw Cashew Nut) is measured and priced in metric tones (MT)
Cashew market price fluctuates. In 2015 a ton went for N 130,000 – N180,000 but in the 2016 season, Raw Cashew Nuts has been priced within the ranges of N280,000 to N330,000, going as high as N350,000 during the peak season.
There is no general standard for cashew nuts but some parameters can establish the quality of the cashew and the appreciation on the market
MARKET FOR THE NIGERIAN RAW CASHEW NUT.
The major buyers of the Nigerian Raw Cashew Nuts are Indian, Vietnam, Singapore, Dubai, and other European countries.
EXPORT POTENTIALS FOR CASHEW NUTS.
Annually, it is estimated that Nigeria earns about $150,000,000 (One hundred and fifty Million dollars) from raw cashew nuts exports.
RAW CASHEW NUT TRADING SEASON
Harvest of mature cashew fruits takes place between February or early March up till April. The entire harvest period occurs in approximately 16 weeks. RCN (Raw Cashew Nuts) trading begins from March up till June (beyond June for stored RCN).
Harvested raw cashew nuts are usually bagged and stored in Jute bags to prevent post harvest losses and ensure proper storage.
QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STANDARD
Two major quality analysis is usually made to ensure that Cashew nuts are up to required standard and that kernel and nuts are within international specified standards.
The Nut Count test; It is the number or raw cashew nuts per kg. From the 1kg sample you picked randomly from bags, count how many nuts you have in that 1kg.
The Kernel Outturn Ratio (KOR); This is the amount of usable kernels after de-shelling the nut. It is expressed in lbs quality, which just means the weight of useful kernels weighed in pounds in one bag of 80kg of raw nuts.
Prospective investors can profit from raw cashew nuts by making investments in the following value chain;
- Cashew Plantation.
- Raw Cashew Nuts Trading.
- Raw Cashew Nuts Exports.
- Raw Cashew Nuts Processing.
- Raw Cashew Nut Storage.
- Jute bags trading and production (For cashew storage).
What are you waiting for? It is time you become part of the multi-billion cashew trade and business sector in Nigeria.
For a detailed Cashew Trading and Investment Guide on any of the Cashew Value Chain Contact;
Agro News Nigeria’s Agro Commodities Investment Unit