The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) in conjunction with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has trained 100 cashew farmers across Oyo State, on best practices for cashew along the value chain.
The executive director CRIN, Dr Patrick Adebola at the training held in Ogbomoso, Oyo State noted that the training will equip farmers to be well informed to boost production, improving yield quality to meet international standards and generating more income.
Trade Promotion Advisor, NEPC Ibadan office, Mrs Bolanle Emmanuel lamented that there were so many uses and agricultural practices in cashew production which many cashew farmers were ignorant, leading to low optimization of cashew farming in Nigeria.
She disclosed that apart from poor information about good agricultural practices and business practices, she lamented that cashew farmers also grappled with poor equipment needed to optimize cashew production.
Chairman, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Chapter, Mr Kamorudeen Alagbe narrated that cashew farmers faced challenges of lack of jut bags, poor storage facility and that heavy rain affects cashew production.
In his remarks, the state commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Adeniyi Adebisi, represented by general manager, Tree Crops Development Unit, Mr Yemi Akinyinka, decried that the state grappled not only with low yield but also that cashew farmers smuggle cashew to neighbouring states for grading.
The commissioner disclosed that the state signed a memorandum of understanding with the West Africa Cashew Project (PRO-cashew) that is being funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop the cashew agro industry in the state, which is aim at increasing production from 260,000 to 350,000 tonnes and processing capacity from 15 percent to 35 percent by 2023.