USDA signs pact on cashew cultivation with the FG

To improve productivity and expand hectares under cashew cultivation, the United States Department for Agricultural (USDA) and the Federal Government have signed a pact to increase foreign exchange earnings, wealth creation, and employment generation.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, during the signing of the memorandum with the USDA Pro-Cashew Project in Abuja yesterday, said the aim was to increase production from 260,000 to 350,000 tonnes by 2023.

According to him, the government’s focus is to sustainably develop the commodity for export. Since the 1990s, cashew has increased the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ranking as the second non-oil export foreign exchange earner for the country. It also generated about $500 million for the country in 2018, providing a livelihood for about 300,000 to 500,000 families, mostly youths and women in Nigeria, Nanono said.

USDA signs pact on cashew cultivation with the FG

He said: “Currently, the national production capacity of cashew in 2020 was 260,000T on 100,000 hectares of land. Average yield was 600kg/ha, against the global average of 1.230kg/ha.”

To kick-start the collaboration with the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew project, the minister constituted the Cashew Value Chain Working Committee to look into the problems and challenges affecting the growth of the value chain in the country.

According to him, the committee, with the support of the USDA project, would develop a 10-year strategic plan for Nigeria's cashew sector.

The members of the committee include the various stakeholders in the cashew chain, chaired by the Managing Director, Nigeria Agribusiness Registrar, Mr. Roland Oroh, and Director, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mrs. Karima Babangida, as a member.

The Chief of Party/Managing Director of the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Project, Mr. Jeans Francois Guay, informed that the project was being implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international development organization headquartered in Washington, DC.

Source: TheGuardianNG

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