Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo now a farmer, has said that only 10 per cent of the cashew produced in Nigeria is gainfully processed for export locally.
This, he said Nigeria must add value to its cashew nuts by increasing the processing capacity. He, therefore, canvassed for the setting up of a cProcessesommittee saddled with the responsibility to ensure the right policies that would promote production, processing and research activities on cashew. In a statement, Obasanjo regretted that the country was losing revenue to developed nations by majorly exporting raw cashew nuts.
According to him, it is painful and I am sad that 10 percent of cashew is produced that we process, so some people are taking advantage of our own hard labor in production, they add value to it and they get more money from it than we would have got if we produced and process it and market it. “So, in my short speech to them, I give them a challenge that we should give ourselves what I call a twenty, thirty committee for policy, for production, for processing, for promotion and indeed for research because there is a lot we can get from research. No aspect of cashew from the root to the leaf should be wasted. And that is what research and innovation should be doing. That’s why I gave them a challenge and they have all said they accepted the challenge. They wrote to me and said they have accepted the challenge and I assure them they should call me at any time as I am always available.”
On his part, President, African Cashew Alliance, Otunba Babatola Faseru, said: “we are working together with eleven countries to improve the production of cashew. As minister of agriculture and rural development, I’m very proud, we can do better in the cashew sub sector. In line with the recommendation of former president Obasanjo, Cameroon will be the first to process one hundred persons in this sector, that I can assure you.”