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May 27, 2024

 Decline in Cashew Output Projected Due to Harsh Harmattan 

The anticipated output for Nigeria’s 2024 cashew season is projected to experience a slight decline due to the harsh harmattan season affecting major growing areas. 

Cashew trees in key producing states have suffered from the adverse effects of the harsh harmattan, resulting in the withering of flowers crucial for production.

Tola Faseru, president of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), noted the impact of the harsh weather on cashew production, particularly in major growing areas like Oyo, Ogun, and Kogi. 

Despite the challenges, efforts are underway to enhance local production, including the adoption of high-yield varieties by farmers, supported by government initiatives at both federal and state levels.

Debo Thomas, CEO of Hastom Nigeria, highlighted the poor production outlook for the year, attributing it to the excessive harmattan conditions. The dry winds and dusty particles carried by the harmattan winds have led to the destruction of cashew flowers, particularly in Ogbomosho, a significant cashew-growing community in Oyo State.

Nigeria, ranking fourth in Africa and sixth globally in cashew production, earned N194.2 billion from cashew exports in 2023, constituting a significant portion of the country’s agricultural exports. 

However, the current drop in prices, exacerbated by the strengthened naira, poses challenges for cashew farmers.

Ojo Ajanaku, national president of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), expressed optimism about a potential marginal rise in production as trees begin to flower again. 

He further noted the unfavorable price trends compared to cocoa, which has seen a price rally.

Currently, a metric tonne of dried cashew nuts sells for N1 million in Lagos, representing a significant 44% drop from the beginning of the season. Internationally, prices stand at about $970 in Vietnam and $1,050 in India, according to NCAN data.

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