Mediterranean Shipping Line is making a new move to grab 350,000 tonnes of cashew nuts for export from Nigeria to Vietnam and other countries. Nigeria accounts for about 30per cent of the West Africa’s total production of quality cashew nuts. Currently, West Africa produces over 60per cent of the world’s total production of cashews.
Other leading countries in producing cashew nuts are Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau. The shipping company said that it would be attending the World Cashew Conference in Dubai between 23 and 25 February 2023 to explain its expertise, reliability and flexibility in handling peak season cashew exports with its transportation and logistics services.
According to MSC, “we will promote our cashew shipping and logistics services. We will also be discussing our plans for the future of shipping and logistics in the cashew industry, the latest trends in the cashew industry.” Last year, the MSC and Hapag-Lloyd were in stiff competition to export Nigerian sesame seed, soya beans, cocoa and cashew nuts.
Because of this, Hapag- Lloyd has opened a new office in Lagos to create further growth and help exporters to ferry their cargoes from Apapa and Tin Can Island to other countries. Also, MSC, which operates at the country’s seaports, has positioned itself to ship out cocoa beans from the Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML), Tincan Island Port in order to offer its customers consistently high service all over the continent. Early in January, 2023, cashew nut shippers said that the export of the commodity would fetch Nigerian farmers about $500 million in 2023.
The President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Mr Ojo Ajanaku, said that Nigeria had been steadily becoming an export hub, accounting for at least 11 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange trading over the last three years. He said: “This implies that the sector has the potential to drive national revenue generation, increase job creation and diversify the economy.” The president noted that more than three million people in Nigeria, especially women had become cashew producers and were driving the sector among their male counterparts.
Ajanaku stressed that NCAN’s long-term goal was to transform Nigeria from a low-priced commodity producer to a reliable supplier and exporter of high-quality cashew products, adopt indigenous innovations and policies that will drive the sector. Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, who was represented by Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the ministry said in Abuja that the country’s cashew had been increasing in its importance as an export-oriented cash crop.
He explained: “It is estimated to represent over 10per cent of Gross domestic Products (GDP) based on export data of 2022 and it is becoming a commercial crop in Nigeria and is cultivated in 27 states, including the FCT. “The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, listed cashew as a priority crop.It is being promoted under the Import Substitution Strategy of the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Abubakar added that the cashew value chain was among the crops being promoted under the value chain programme of the ministry. id that the ministry had carried out a number of activities over the years to promote the growth of the value chain in the country including the distribution of improved seeds/seedlings to cashew farmers free of charge.