By Tolu Aiyegbusi
The newly elected president of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) Mr Ojo Ajanaku, wants the Federal Government to enact policies that would promote the cashew industry.
Ajanaku made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, on Monday.
He 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 in order 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.
Ojo said that the cashew industry was a massive one which had not been fully maximised; and was yet to be exploited in terms of meeting with demands of increasing consumers.
“Currently, we produce only 220,000 tonnes of cashew yearly, but with more favourable policies, we would have less wastage from consumers of the seed and meet up with local and foreign demands.
“It would also save the cashew juice from wastage, and as an association we would get more lands for expansion, which will in turn create more job opportunities,’’ he said.
The president also added that favourable government policies would also help build the cashew industry and make it a competing product in the international market.