The Federal Government says that it was concluding plans to set up cashew processing plants in four states out of the thirty-six (36) states in the country.
The states where the plants would be set up were given as; Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Oyo.
Naija News reports that the government’s new move is in a deliberate attempt to add value to the product and create employment, wealth in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh made this known 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.
In his words, Ogbeh said; “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.
“We are talking with the Brazilians now. We want to bring in machines from Brazil to process the cashew fruits into juice which has a high content of vitamin c.
“We are currently wasting an estimated eight million tonnes of cashew fruits annually, throwing them away. That is what the Cashew Association of West Africa told me.
“This is our concern, we are very troubled with this development but later in the year, I will have meeting with the cashew producers and farmers association to sit down with the CBN and get some help.’’