Newly-elected President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Mr Ojo Ajanaku, wants the Federal Government to enact policies that would promote the cashew industry.
Ajanaku, who made the call in an interview with journalists yesterday, in Abuja, said: “At the moment there is no law to guide the import and export of cashew as a raw material from Nigeria.”
He added that it was important for the country to have policies regulating the cashew industry to save it from exploitation by foreigners.
“As a country, we do not have any law, no single policy at all guiding the industry’s stakeholders, or guiding importation and exportation.
“In India for instance, there is a policy that you cannot have more than a certain amount of cashew in your possession, otherwise you would be prosecuted, but here, you see people abusing cashew and destroying the juice.
Enacting these laws would also help preserve cashew as a Nigerian raw material, among Nigerians; and regulate the industry on a global and local level,” he said.
Ajanaku noted that the cashew industry is huge, which has not been fully maximised; and was yet to be exploited in terms of meeting consumers demand.
“Currently, we produce only 220,000 tonnes of cashew yearly, but with more favourable policies, we would have less wastage of the seed and meet up with local and foreign demand.
“It would also save the cashew juice from wastage, and as an association, we would get more land for expansion, which will in turn create more job opportunities,” he said.
He added that favourable government policies can help build the cashew industry and make it a competing product in the international market.