Sunday, January 18, 2015
I’m not usually a fan of fruit in salads, but it really works here as the orange pieces are sautéed with the date (or maple) syrup and cumin, which totally changes their texture and taste. They lose their acidity and become soft enough to blend perfectly with the other ingredients. The salad is then dressed with orange juice, too, and it all has a wonderfully sweet feel to it.
SERVES 4 OR MORE
· 4 carrots
· 200g (7oz) raisins
· 5 oranges
· 1 teaspoon ground cumin
· 2 teaspoons date syrup or maple syrup
· 200g (7oz) cashews
· 180g (6¼ oz) pitted olives
· salt and pepper
♥ Peel the carrots then use the peeler to slice them into thin slivers. Place these in a large bowl.
♥ Put the raisins in a bowl of boiling water and let them soak while everything else is being prepared. This makes them much plumper and juicier.
♥ Peel four of the oranges, taking off the pith. Cut the oranges into bite-sized segments and place these in a saucepan with the cumin and date syrup – they don’t need any oil as they have their own juice. Sauté the oranges on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until they’re really nice and soft. Then pour them and all the juices in the pan over the carrots.
♥ Now put the cashews in the same pan (so that they soak up the orange flavour) and cook them on a medium heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until they go slightly brown, then add these to the salad too.
♥ Squeeze the juice of the fifth orange on to the salad and mix in the olives. Drain the raisins and stir them in along with some salt and pepper before serving.
TOP TIP As you peel the carrots, rotate them as you go so that the strips stay thin. If you only peel from one place, the strips will be very wide.
Friday, January 16, 2015
KOCHI: Cashew nut exports from India are likely to fall shy of nearly Rs 5,000 crore achieved in the previous year because of aggressive selling by Vietnam and increasing domestic consumption.
Although exports have shown an 8% jump in volumes and a 5% rise in value at 101,176 tonne worth Rs 4,098 crore for the period to December, exporters say high cost may hinder shipments in the last quarter of the fiscal 2015.
Depleting stocks may force Vietnam to slow down exports in the next couple of months. But India too doesn't have a comfortable level of inventory of raw nuts. "Cashew processing has increased in the country in the past 2-3 years because of a higher local consumption. As a result, the carryover stock is lower. Besides, current export prices don't justify the higher cost of raw cashew import taking place now," said Hari Krishnan R Nair, managing director, Western India Cashew Company .
India imports around 60% of the over 14 lakh tonne raw nuts required for processing, mostly from Africa. Exporters are now buying from Mozambique and Tanzania at a rate of $1,500 per tonne. Raw cashew purchased from Western African countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast earlier were cheaper.
"While India sells at around $3.50 per pound in global market, Vietnam is able to do it at $ 3.25 per pound thanks to its higher production and lower processing cost.Vietnam's stock has gone down and the country is waiting for its next crop starting from March. But India may not be able to capitalize on it because of high raw cashew price and delay in import shipment," said K Prakash Rao, managing partner, Kalbavi Cashews. In states like Kerala, high labour wages have contributed to the increased processing cost.
Processor-exporters seem to be more satisfied with the internal market now. "The business from domestic market has gone over the value of exports to `. 6,000 crore to . 7,000 crore. The prices realized are com` paratively better than exports," added.
According to Hari Krishnan R Nair, if the Commerce Ministry accedes to the exporters' demand for interest relief, exports may get a boost.
Prospects for the next fiscal appears to be better. "There is a little growth in production and there is a steady growth in usage due to relatively stable prices compared with other nuts. We expect the price range in 2015 to be higher around $3.75 per pound," said Pankaj N Sampat, director of Mumbai-based Samsons Traders in his cashew review for the next year
- India Times
KOLLAM: The chimneys that billow dark fumes even as they spread a nutty aroma had for long been the identity of this once-vibrant cashew processing hub.
They are now set to be history as small-time processors, fighting lower margins due to increased labour cost and fierce international competition, are planning to upgrade the processing with mechanised boilers.
Miffed by the decision to introduce a hike in the minimum wages, allegedly without their representation, around 600-odd small and medium term manufacturers, who provide 70 per cent of export-worthy cashew to the big players, are planning to accelerate the mechanisation process and also look for overseas markets.
At present, large manufacturers who hold a monopoly over the raw cashew provide portions to small manufacturers for commission processing. It insulates them from the hassles of statutory obligations related to employees. Small manufacturers under the Kerala Cashew Processors and Exporters Association (KCPEA) claim that they used to get a margin of Rs 100 for processing a bag of cashew worth Rs 2,200, before the new wages were announced last month. The major cashew exporters have set up factories in other states and abroad, and are diverting larger quantities of raw cashew tothese facilities due to the high labour cost in the state.
KCPEA members, who visited machine manufacturers in Gujarat recently have placed orders for boilers, cutting, peeling and grading machines. They are in a hurry to mechanise the plants by February when the rate hike is likely to become effective.
Depending upon the capacity, the mechanisation process can cost anywhere between Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore for a factory. Labourers in Kerala are known for their skills in processing roasted cashew.
But with boilers replacing the roasting process one could soon see a Bengali or a Bihari labourer operating the machine. “Seventyfive per cent of our labourers are from other states,” said association secretary K M Nazar. A traditional factory that processes 200 bags of cashew requires around 1,000 employees to operate it while the mechanised one requires just 400 people. The number of broken cashews increases by 20 pc in machine processing but it spares them from the hassles of dealing with the statutory obligations of the workers and the constant bargaining from the trade unions.
A 35 per cent increase in the minimum wages for cashew workers was announced on December 1 by Cashew Minimum Wage Advisory Committee convened under the labour minister.
“I dropped my plans to set up a 70 feet chimney which would cost me Rs 15 lakh after watching a boiler plant,” said R Vikraman, a commission processor. A consortium comprising association members was formed to get the export license to gain entry into the $800 million export industry. They have also sought membership from the Cashew Export Council, that will enable them to avail grants for mechanisation and other export duty benefits. “Besides the grants-in-aid, council membership enables them to attend trade fairs, buyer-seller meets etc,” said Executive Director & Secretary of CEPC, K Sasi Varma. Under the duty drawback scheme and Vishesh Krishi Aur Gram Udyog Yojana the exporters will get a total incentive of 6 per cent of their free-on-board (FoB) value.
The Association on an average produces 2,250 metric tones of export-worthy cashew in a month. To market their products they are connecting with top international brokers such as Africa Product, BLB New York, Richard Franco etc.
“The consortium will collectively bargain for raw cashew like big manufacturers do,” said Nazar. Number of large cashew factories in Kollam has reduced drastically over the years. Industry experts demand a comprehensive study as most government policies are not benefiting them. Their concern is that the industry would meet the same fate as that of coir and matchbox unless a study is undertaken.
KOCHI, JANUARY 16:
Winter demand pushed up cashew exports during April-December of the current fiscal, despite higher unit value in November and December.
Total shipments during the first nine months of the current fiscal stood at 1,01,176 tonnes valued at ₹4,098.81 crore at an average unit value of ₹405.12 a kg. However, shipments during the corresponding period last fiscal were 93,691 tonnes valued at ₹3,888.85 crore at the average unit value of ₹415.07.
Exports in December increased to 11,022 tonnes valued at ₹521.32 crore at the unit value of ₹472.98 a kg from 10,963 tonnes valued at ₹476.95 crore at the unit value of ₹435.05.
Export of raw cashewnuts soared during April -December to 15,534 tonnes valued at ₹132.89 crore at the unit value of ₹85.55 a kg from 3,527 tonnes valued at ₹20.36 crore at the unit value of ₹57.72.
In fact, over 50 per cent of the cashew processing industry’s annual requirement is met by imports from overseas. The country has a total processing capacity of more than 20 lakh tonnes, whereas domestic raw nut production has been hovering around seven lakh tonnes, industry sources in Kollam said.
Much of the raw cashew shipments, according to the trade, have been to Vietnam, where Indian cashew processors have established processing facilities. They are believed to be shipping out from the imported raw nut stocks to their units in Vietnam, trade sources said.
Imports of raw nuts increased during April-December to 8,01,418 tonnes valued at ₹5,411.36 crore despite a rise in raw cashew prices from 6,71,494 tonnes valued at ₹3,754.10 crore. The average unit value stood at ₹67.52 against ₹55.91 in the corresponding period a year ago.
- The Hindu
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Cashew nut export is on the decline, owing to the increase in production costs (which, in turn, has resulted in an increase in the costs of raw nuts), input costs and labour costs; the increasing competition in the international markets, and the restrictions by importing countries.
Its domestic consumption has increased significantly, resulting in an increase in its imports and the attention of exporters. With higher profits and a competitive global market, a major chunk of the cashewnuts has got diverted to the local market. G Kannan, managing director, G K Exports, said, “There is a strong demand in the domestic market for various types of cashewnuts. The rising demand makes the Indian market more profitable, so traders don’t have to go overseas.”
“But the increase in the input costs, a result of the hike in labour costs in different cultivating states, poses dangers for both producers and exporters. On one hand, the profit margin is higher due to the domestic demand, and on the other, we are losing the international market due to higher prices. Other cashew-producing nations have larger markets, as their production costs are low. But they compromise on quality,” he added.
An official of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, which looks after the promotion of the nut overseas, stated, “The cashewnut exports are satisfactory, but there is a need for improvement. Exporters are assisted by the promotion council’s programmes. The government is constantly helping both domestic traders and exporters (who are equally affected by the price and production constraints) to expand the market and increase the supply,” he added.
The Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development is the nodal agency for the development of the nut in India.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
A plan by the HCM City University of Technology to export cashew processing technology to Africa has faced strong opposition from Vietnamese officials, who believe the move will kill one of Vietnam’s important industries.
A few days it was announced that the HCM City University of Technology has signed a contract on transferring cashew nut processing technology to Africa. The information was confirmed by Vinacas, the Vietnam Cashew Association, which said the project was signed at a cashew processing equipment exhibition, Sietta 2014, held at Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
Nguyen Van Lang, former chair of Vinacas, who was a high ranking official of the science ministry, said: “As the father of the Vietnamese cashew processing technology, I strongly protest against the technology transfer to any country.”
Lang warned that the move will seriously affect the 1,000 cashew nut processing workshops, companies and 300,000 Vietnamese workers in the cashew industry.
Vietnam is now the biggest cashew nut exporter in the world, ranking second in processing and third in material area. The cashew exports bring $2 billion a year to Vietnam, and are one of the key export items of Vietnam, including garments, oil and gas, and rice.
Nguyen Duc Thanh, chair of Vinacas, emphasized that Vietnam would not be able to stand high among the leading cashew processors and exporters in the world if it did not have modern technology. Thanh noted that countries lust for made-in-Vietnam technology, even countries with the longest histories of cashew processing like India and Brazil.
Lang warned that exporting cashew processing technology will “bring danger”, because the technology is a great advantage for Vietnam.
Meanwhile, African countries, including Ivory Coast, the country with the largest cashew area, specializing in exporting raw cashews, will become formidable rivals of Vietnam, once they master the processing technology.
Cashew farmers in some parts of the country would to cut the sizes of their plantations if the Federal Government did not come to their aid, John Alagbe, the Chairman of the Cashew Farmers Association in Surulere Local Government of Kwara, said ton Monday.
He said that buyers were offering ridiculous prices for cashew, thereby impoverishing the farmers in the area.
“The people coming to buy our cashew are not helping us; they are offering poor prices and because we do not want to lose, we have no option than to sell. We have decided to cut down the size of our plantations and diversify to other crops that will benefit us.
“The traders come to buy the cashew at N100 or N150 per five kilogrammes, which is very bad. So we appeal to the government to come to our rescue by regulating the market,’’ Alagbe said.
The chairman pleaded that the government should buy the cashew directly from farmers, to prevent a glut.
Meanwhile, Sotonye Anga, the National Spokesperson of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), confirmed the farmers’ threat.
He, however, said that he had advised the farmers against cutting cashew production.
Anga said that the association has been discussing with the government on the need to establish a Cashew Marketing Cooperative outlet.
“There should be a direct market linkage for cashew farmers. The threat is real because I had a meeting with them and heard their grievances. This is what is happening across the country and farmers need a guaranteed market for cashew across the country.
“Government should take this threat seriously if we are looking at empowering our non-oil export sector,’’ Anga added.
The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) says its exporters are expecting N18 billion in grant after the Federal Government lifted the suspension on the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC).
It would be recalled that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, had on Tuesday, announced the restoration of Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to boost export.
Anga said that the Export Expansion Grant was suspended four years ago.
According to him, the suspension has hindered the growth of the country’s export sector.
He expressed optimism that the restoration of EEG would boost the non-oil sector and accelerate the country’s economic growth.
“This is really a good time for the cashew export.
“A total of N98 billion was released for the NDCC and the cashew sector will get N18 billion.
“This will help to boost exporters’ business, especially as we prepare for the new cashew season.
“When the scheme was suspended, export activities were halted, especially the non-oil sector,’’ Anga said.
He commended the government for lifting the suspension, saying that the money should be released to the beneficiaries on time.
Anga said that the money had accumulated for too long and exporters needed to organise their businesses for 2015 farming season.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to release the money in good time.”
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Yet another round of talks in the presence of Labour Minister Shibu Baby John between representatives of the cashew sector trade unions and the employers held in Thiruvanathapuram on Tuesday too drew a blank.
The last meeting in this connection was held on November 6 also in the presence of Mr. Shibu. During the earlier talks, the trade unions had been demanding a 40 per cent hike in wages and the employers expressed their inability to consider a hike beyond 25 per cent.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the employers agreed to settle for wage hike of 30 per cent. But the unions did not compromise.
The employers said that if the issue was settled on Tuesday itself they would agree for a 35 per cent wage hike.
- The Hindu
Monday, November 24, 2014
KOCHI, NOVEMBER 24:
Strong winter demand appears to have resulted in an upsurge, after a continuous decline for about six months, in exports of cashew kernels and other cashew products in October.
The country shipped out 11,325 tonnes of cashew kernels in October this year valued at ₹526 crore at an unit value of ₹464.44 a kg against 10,439 tonnes of cashews worth ₹434.68 crore at ₹416.40 a kg same period last year.
The country shipped out 68,719 tonnes of cashews in April-October 2014 valued at ₹3,000.29 crore at an average unit value of ₹436.60 a kg.
In the corresponding period last year it stood at 72,230 tonnes valued at ₹2,954.58 crore at the average unit value of ₹409.05 a kg.
Raw nut exports
Interestingly, Indian export of raw cashew also soared during the period under review.
Export of raw nuts in October rose to 10,572 tonnes valued at ₹91.64 crore from 989 tonnes valued at ₹5.84 crore in the same period last year. The unit value realised in October this year was ₹86.68 a kg (₹59.09).
India shipped out 11,130 tonnes of raw cashew nuts during April-October this year valued at ₹114.35 crore at the unit value of ₹102.74 a kg against 3,063 tonnes valued at ₹17.89 crore at the unit value of ₹58.39.
Much of the shipments of raw nuts were to Vietnam, where Indian cashew processors have established processing facilities.
They are believed to be shipping out from the imported raw nut stocks to their units in Vietnam, trade sources said.
Imports of raw nuts during April-October stood at 7,63,548 tonnes valued at ₹5,172.59 crore and the unit value paid was at ₹67.74 a kg.
Imports in the corresponding period last fiscal were at 6,02,298 tonnes valued at ₹3,279.04 crore at the unit value of ₹54.44 a kg, Sasi Varma, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, told BusinessLine.
He attributed the rise in exports of cashew kernel, of late, to the demand for winter/Christmas and New Year season.
Meanwhile, Pankaj Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, said that cashew continued to be the most reasonably priced nut moving in a relatively narrow range when compared with other nuts.
Therefore, “it would be reasonable to expect prices to remain in this range and maybe even move up a bit – depending on buyer behaviour. The cashew kernel prices are likely to in the range of $3.40-3.70 for next 3-4 months and maybe more,” he said.
Source: The Hindu
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
KOCHI, NOVEMBER 18:
The cashew market, which showed some buoyancy from mid-August till mid-October, is witnessing subdued activity. During the last three weeks, prices have slipped by a few cents from large processors and more from the small and medium processors.
According to trade sources, cashew continues to be the most reasonably priced nut moving in a relatively narrow range compared with other nuts.
Therefore “it would be reasonable to expect prices to remain in this range and maybe even move up a bit – depending on buyer behaviour,” Pankaj Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, told BusinessLine.Highest levels traded were W240 at $4.05-4.15 and W320 $3.60-3.70 per lb (fob). Offers/trades during the last fortnight were in the range of W240 $3.75-3.95, W320 $3.40-3.55, W450 $3.30-3.45, SW320 $3.35-3.45, butts $3.10-3.25, splits $2.95-3.05 and pieces $2.85-2.95 per lb (fob).
However, for the time being, many buyers seem to be waiting to see how market moves in coming weeks. But, some are still buying part of their requirements from reliable processors (even at higher levels).
RCN prices up
Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) market moved up between August and mid-October, with prices for West Africa RCN moving up from $1,150-1,250 to $1,350-1,550 a tonne range. Tanzania RCN traded at around $1,600 c&f. During the last 2-3 weeks, this has come down to $1,425-50.
“If processors are not able to sell kernels at higher prices, they may be slow in buying RCN which in turn might lead to some reduction in prices, but reduction will not be much since availability is limited due to a fall in Southern crop output, estimated to be less than 25 per cent of world production,” Pankaj said.
“Although we cannot be sure how market will move, especially in an uncertain situation like we face at present, our feeling is that cashew kernel market will remain in the range of $3.40-3.70 for next 3-4 months and maybe more,” he said.
- The Hindu
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Talks called by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday with representatives of cashew sector trade unions and employers in the Industrial Relations
Committee, to end an impasse over wage revision for cashew workers, drew a blank.
But, in sharp contrast to talks in this connection on earlier occasions, Thursday’s talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and the two sides gave some indications of settling the issue at the earliest. In this connection, the trade union leaders and the employers agreed to hold another round of talks on November 25 “at which the issue has to be settled.”
During Thursday’s talks, the trade unions expressed willingness to bring down their wage hike demand from 50 per cent to 40 per cent. But the employers, citing situations in the domestic and international markets vis-à-vis the prevailing cost of production in the State, expressed their inability to consider a hike beyond 25 per cent.
Their contention was that over the past five years, the price of raw nuts they import from the international market had doubled from Rs.50 a kg to more than Rs.100. At the same time, the price of kernels which they export had been hovering around Rs.475 to Rs.500 a kilogram for the past five years. In such a situation, even a 40 per wage hike would make the industry unviable, the employers said.
However, they said they were willing to offer a wage hike which the industry could bear at this juncture. The offer has hinted at the possibility of a 30 per cent wage hike during the November 25 talks. Both sides have not denied it.
- The Hindu
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
By Adama K. Jallow
Cashew farmers in The Gambia want more productivity and better to gain better sales price in the global market, and are calling for collective work among the farmers.
Kebba Jassey, the Senegambia Cashew Enhancement Project Manager in The Gambia and country representative, spoke at the 2014 annual CEP2 stakeholder review and partner planning forum held yesterday at the Baobab Holliday Resort in Kerr Serign.
According to Mr Jassey, the forum was meant to review their 2013-2014 partnership agreement on the challenges and achievements gained during the period, and to learn the lessons for a better cashew season.
Among the objectives of the project, he said, is to increase the income of cashew farmers, and that the project assessment has found that farmers earn a low income from their products, and factors responsible include the quality of their product and the volumes.
According to him, the project encourages all cashew farmers to form an association and to sell their products collectively at the village level; and to enhance the quality of the products, since they compete with other countries in the global market.
"To enhance the cashew value chain should be everyone's concern," he said, adding that cashew could create employment, and earns foreign currency through exporting the product.
In his remarks, US Embassy charge d'affaires in The Gambia, Richard T. Yoneoka, said as the CEP2 final year approached, it was significant that they pause to consider its impact, as phase one which ran from 2009 to 2012 benefited about 3,000 cashew farmers and processors in The Gambia.
He said the IRD expects to double that number to about 6,000 farmers and 100 more processors upon the completion of the second phase of the project, at the end of 2015.
Yoneoka disclosed that the US Embassy was closely following the progress of the Senegambia Cashew Value Chain Enhancement Project (CEP2) in The Gambia, and was pleased with its achievements.
With the funding from the US Department of Agriculture, the good work being carried out by International Relief and Development, in cooperation with the Peace Corps Volunteers and the African Cashew Alliance serves to remind them of what could be gained through partnership and collaboration.
"You the stakeholders, growers and traders have provided the crucial by-in and commitment needed to ensure the continued success of this project," he continued.
According to Yoneoka, the project focuses on optimizing the cashew value chain not only on yields and increase in the quality of the products, but also a marked increase in the quality with its slogan: "quality cashew is good business."
In order for The Gambia to maintain its reputation as a provider of sweet-tasting, high-grade cashews, as well as potentially becoming competitive in the world market, the emphasis must remain on quality, he said.
The goal is also set to capitalize on the increase in quality which would turn into higher profits for all actors in the value chain.
The government of the United States is dedicated to this cause, as evidenced by the $8 million USDA Food for Progress grant that helped established this project," he pointed out.
He urged the forum to be open and honest about their experiences and sharewith one another, in an effort to develop best practices and realize the objectives of CEP2, as well as to work in the spirit of mutual understanding and collaboration and not to hesitate to impart any wisdom or guidance they have gained in their work.
Also to assess both challenges and success they have faced and take them as lessons learned to strategize for a more successful year to come, he said.
Yoneoka thanked the Gambia government and the ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Trade for creating the enabling environment to support the continued growth of the cashew value chain.
Monday, November 3, 2014
The Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, has said that the state government is making efforts to reduce about $75m (about N12bn) cashew’s post-harvest losses in the country.
He said the state government had begun the upgrading of warehouses in the state to standard cashew handling centres equipped with modern grading and quality assessment equipment.
Wada spoke in Lokoja on Wednesday at the cashew improvement training programme themed, ‘Promoting cashew sustainability in Kogi State.’ The event was organised by the state government in collaboration with the Colossus investments Limited and the National Cashew Association of Nigeria.
He says the state is the largest producer of cashew in the country, accounting for 40 per cent of the total commercial production of the nation.
According to the governor, having standard cashew centres across the state will go a long way in tackling the problem of storage usually encountered by farmers.
He stated that it would also provide the necessary drying platforms to properly dry the cashew adding that this would reduce to the barest minimum and eventually eliminate the problem of high moisture and lack of storage facilities that had plagued the sector for so long.
He also said the government’s investment would further position the farmers and indeed all the stakeholders across the value chain to realise better returns on their cashew production.
The governor also mentioned the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Kogi Sate Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria with respect to the N2bn loan for Kogi farmers and expressed the commitment of his administration to the development of the cashew industry in the state.
Earlier, the President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Mr. Tola Faseru, said the laudable project, if implemented in Kogi state, the largest producing state in the country, would drastically increase the farmer’s income.
He noted that cashew would then be better stored and preserved, thereby forestalling wastage and quality deterioration.
He enjoined other state governments to do the same by investing in such projects that would alleviate the pains of our farmers and boost agricultural output.
The Kogi State Chairman of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ahiaba Stephen, said the cashew improvement training was a welcome development as it was aimed at the complete value chain development in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
By John Akubo
Lokoja — TOWARDS reducing post-harvest losses and wastages in the cashew industry, the Kogi State Government has started upgrading warehouses in the state to meet the standards for cashew handling.
The cashew handling centres have now been equipped with modern grading and quality assessment equipments, as post-harvest losses usually account for over 50 percent of total cashew production valued at $75 million.
Governor Idris Wada disclosed at the cashew improvement training with the theme, "Promoting Cashew Sustainability in Kogi State," hosted by the government in collaboration with Colossus Investments Limited and the National Cashew Association of Nigeria that the state is the largest producer of cashew in the country, accounting for 40 percent of the nation's total commercial production.
According to him, putting up the centres across the state will go a long way in tackling the storage problem usually encountered by farmers and provide the necessary drying platforms for the produce.
When that is in place, he added, it would significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the problem of high moisture and lack of storage facilities that have plagued the sector for so long. He indicated that government's investment in the sector would further position the farmers and all stakeholders across the value chain to realize better returns.
Wada further noted that the Memorandum of Understanding between the sate and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the N2 billion loan for Kogi farmers indicated his administration's strong commitment to the development of the cashew industry in the state.
Also speaking, the state's NCAN Chairman, Comrade Ahiaba Stephen, commended Wada for transforming the state's agricultural sector, adding that the cashew improvement training was welcome, as it aimed to complete the value chain development in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
Over 500 participants attended the training, while facilitators included representatives from the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN).