By Mike Adeyemi
The National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter has said the production capacity of cashew in the state has increased as the state produced about 45,000 metric tones at the close of this year season.
Speaking on this development, the state chairman of the association, Mohammed Jamiu Abdulateef while answering questions from our reporter on Wednesday in his office.
“Kwara State has continued to sustain its comparative advantage in cashew production over time, as Kwara has become a business hub to other states.
“We are at off – season now. Our full season activity starts December span to July. We had a good market this year despite the fluctuations as a result of Covid-19.
“At least we are doing well. Every year, Kwara had an improved production as we had highest quality in the whole Nigeria,” Abdulateef said.
He added that despite the production in the state, the effort has not been complimented by the Kwara State Government in terms of aiding farmers with inputs.
“It is good to note that despite the neglect by the government, Kwara produces over 45,000 metric tones of Cashew at the closure of last season.
“Our activities have contributed immensely to the Kwara State economy. Up till date, the state chapter of the National Cashew Association has not gotten incentive from the government, but we want government to collaborate with us.
“Kwara cashew has always remained on the top ladder of Cashew producing States in Nigeria and as of today, Kwara is ranked second both in term of quantity and quality of cashew produce,” he affirmed.
Abdulateef further said the excesses of neighbouring States at Kwara borders have continually impeded and reduced the quality of cashew production in the state.
“Our problem has remained the activities of neighbouring states that enter our border unchecked. This has weakened and reduced the high quality of the commodity.
“We had expected that the Kwara State Government would boost our capacity through given our farmers seedlings, but nothing was given.
“In fact, we had to fill the gap as Kwara chapter of National Cashew Association of Nigeria proposed 10,000 seedlings to farmers by our association, ” the Cashew boss said.
He however said the union is using the off season to enlighten its members on how to improve quality of the commodity as new season approaches.
“One of our preparations ahead of new cashew season is to enlighten our farmers on the best way to improve quality.”