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May 27, 2024

Ekiti Gov’t to Boost Cashew Production 

In a bid to improve cashew productivity and market access for local farmers, the government of Ekiti State is set to commence the distribution of subsidized polyclonal cashew seedlings to farmers in the state.

The state’s Agriculture Commissioner, Ebenezer Boluwade disclosed this while speaking in Ado Ekiti, the state’s capital, stating that the project, which received the support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is aimed at enhancing cashew trade in the state. 

This will be achieved by improving harvest and post-harvest techniques as well as supporting supply chain linkages between farmers and programme companies under the five-year PRO-Cashew USDA-funded development programme.

The Commissioner noted that the PRO-Cashew project, launched in 2020 and spanning five years, aims to support cashew farmers across several African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. The project’s core focus is to enhance both cashew productivity and market access for the farmers. 

He shared that Ekiti State was the first in Nigeria to establish a polyclonal cashew and scion garden. The garden is located at Erifun in Ado Ekiti and was established in June 2023.

Commissioner Boluwade emphasized Governor Oyebanji’s administration’s strong commitment to ensuring Ekiti State can continue producing polyclonal cashew seedlings independently after the USDA’s involvement ends. He noted that their goal was to use research and development to propel Ekiti State into becoming one of the top cashew-producing states in the country within the next few years.

He also stated that polyclonal cashew seedlings have faster growth and higher resilience compared to seedlings grown from seeds. According to him, the state government will subsidize the cost of these seedlings by 50% to support farmers.

He further directed interested farmers to contact the Tree Crops Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

He emphasized that farms must be located within Ekiti State, and that owners need to provide accurate farm details for proper after-sales service to ensure the overall success of the project.

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