National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), has entered into partnership with Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to tackle foreigners’ encroachment at farm gates across the country.
The National President, NCAN, Mr. Tola Faseru, who spoke at the 2018 National Cashew Trade Administration Meeting of the association, which held in Ilorin, Kwara State, recently, said there is urgent need for the nation to checkmate the excesses of foreigners at cashew farm gates.
He said checkmating the excesses of foreigners at farm gates became imperative because cashew crop is one of the National Strategic Export Products (NSEPs) adopted to diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil.
Faseru noted that the encroachment of foreigners has been causing distractions for local farmers and the consequence has led to low quality products, distortions in the trade, reduced value at the international market and most importantly, lower purchasing power for Nigerian farmers.
“The encroachment into farm gates by foreigners is inimical to the value chain system and cuts off our locals from participating in the trade. Expatriates position themselves in the bushes to buy directly from the farmers thereby taking away the much-needed jobs from our people.
“If our people cannot buy commodities, what else can they do? The livelihood of our people should be protected” he said. He frowned at the practice of foreigners bombarding farm gates to buy cashew and this should stop. The activities of these foreign nationals, he said, could also compromise the security of the country.
However, he admonished cashew stakeholders to pay adequate attention to the growth and development of the crop because of the foreign exchange that can be generated from it and the resultant employment opportunities.
“Nigeria is rated fourth largest producer of cashew nuts in Africa and seventh in the world. Today, the annual earnings from cashew has risen to $402,050,000 (N145 billion) and we see it growing year in year out with the private sector efforts and the growing government interventions in the sector.”he said.
According to Faseru, the cashew trade has become a global industry, which employs about 300,000 people across the country, saying farmers and indeed every player in the value chain should be allowed to get a fair return for their efforts.