Vietnam processing firms are closing shops as cashew exporters in Nigeria are exploiting new markets to boost their income.
According to National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Nigerian exporters are targeting $3 billion earnings yearly to match their Vietnamese counterparts in cashew production as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is supporting the exporters through its Export Stimulation Fund.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has also decided to provide three million seedling to assist cashew farmers this year.
The fund would enable the exporters to acquire processing plants and technology, which would enable them to earn N1.08 trillion ($3 billion) income annually in the global market.
According to the President of NCAN, Mr Tola Faseru, Nigerian cashew brand are presently gaining popularity and referred to as the best at the international markets.
However, cashew nuts imported by Vietnam from Nigeria are not processed, but when processed, the Vietnamese traders earn huge trade surplus of $1.85 billion because Nigerian exporters lack technology to process their nuts before they are exported.
It would be recalled that Nigeria had approached Vietnam in 2006 for technology transfer, but the country objected to the idea in order to control the global market.
Vietnam feared that if Nigeria obtains the technology, her sales would reduce and this would halt the $2 billion revenue earned annually from the nuts in the global market.
Last year, it was gathered that Vietnam sold a ton of processed cashew nuts for $10,000 at the international market, while Nigerian traders earned only $1,200 per ton.
However, this year, the trend has changed as Vietnam Cashew Association’s Vice President, Dang Hoang Giang, explained that shortage of raw materials from Nigeria and other West African countries had affected their firms.
He explained that many cashew processing factories, especially small cashew processing firms, have stopped operations.
Giang explained that raw cashew nut imports from Africa and the recovery rate had decreased.
On the other hand, Nigeria realised N144.7 billion ($402 million) from the 220,000 metric tons it exported in 2017 to other countries.
Meanwhile, cashew farmers in the country said they would realise about N146.8 billion ($480 million) at the CBN exchange rate of N305.80 to a dollar from exporting the produce in 2018.
However, the NCAN president said in Abuja that about N20 billion was needed to finance cashew exports this year.
He noted that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, had promised to give out three million cashew seedlings to support cashew farmers and boost production this year.