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AGRICULTURE BUSINESS NEWS

FG to generate over 500,000 jobs through cashew production

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is set to harness the cashew value chain to generate over 500,000 jobs for unemployed youths in the country.

According to the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, during the two-day national cashew stakeholders meeting and farmers’ field day on Friday in Zaria said cashew was among the top priority commodities being promoted by the ministry.

Mu’azu, represented by Deputy Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Bernand Chukwuemeka, said that the promotion of cashew by the ministry was due to the commodity’s enormous potentials for employment generation for youths and foreign exchange earnings.

‘‘Nigeria’s current output is 175,000 metric tonnes on150,000 hectares with an average yield of 350 kilograms per hectare, against the global average yield of 1,230 kilograms per hectare’’.

“Increasing Nigeria’s raw cashew nuts production of between 175,000 metric tonnes by 20 per cent will give rise to more than 500,000 new jobs and 10 million dollars additional income,’’ he said.

Director, Cashew Research Department, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Dr Ibiremo Samuel, earlier said the institute has a mandate for genetic improvement of cashew in Nigeria, The News Agency (NAN) repoted.

Samuel said the institute had developed high yielding and early bearing cashew varieties, as well as protocols to prevent pest and diseases for cashew.

He said the value addition department of the institute had also developed cashew juice, and other protocol of training women and youths on juice and wine making from cashew.

The President National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Ojo Ajanaku advised participants to brainstorm and come out with appropriate blueprint for the National Cashew Masterplan.

Ajanaku, represented by Ex-officio, North-West Zone of NCAN, Stephen Malam, appealed to government at all levels to support the association in ensuring establishment of cashew orchards across the country.

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