The Federal Government says it was planning to set up cashew processing plants in four states of the country to add value to the produce and create employment, wealth in the country.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja.
Ogbeh said the move would also reduce the waste of cashew fruits and delay in the export of raw nuts out of the country.
According to him, we are currently wasting an estimated 8 million tonnes of cashew fruits annually.
He said the long term solution to the delay in export and stocking of cashew nuts at the ports was for Nigeria to be an exporter of finished products and not raw materials.
Ogbeh listed the states where the plants would be set up to be Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Oyo.
“The challenge is usually access to credit because a good processing cashew line will cost you about two million dollars to do something like 10 to 20 tonnes a day. We are targeting that to set up at least one plant each in Enugu and Benue, two plants each in Kogi and Oyo state. These are the leading cashew producers now.
“We want to assure the cashew stakeholders that in our next level activities, we intend to stop the export of raw nuts and to process all our cashews here and we hope by the grace of God, to have one or two plants ready before next year,” he said.
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