As part of efforts to boost the processing and exportation of cashew nuts by Ogun State, the government of Prince Dapo Abiodun has revived its cashew processing plant at Imasayi by partnering with an indigenous agro-allied processing company, J22 Concerns Limited, Kajola.
The State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe, represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olu Ola Aikulola, who presented the letter of award to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Yinka Akintola, at the Palace of the Olu of Imasayi, Imasayi, Yewa North Local Government Area of the state said the present administration decided to operationalise the plant which has been unused since 2018 to enhance the socio-economic development of the people.
Longe called on relevant stakeholders and the people of Imasayi to support the investor in enhancing cashew nut value chain through increased production of cashew nuts and sale for processing instead of selling them raw.
“We should team up with the investor to ensure the best use of this cashew processing plant. We want a situation whereby the cashew nuts grown in Imasayi will be processed in Imasayi. This will boost the cashew value chain and bring about development for the people, create job opportunities and lead to improvement in the people’s standard of living,” he said.
The Commissioner assured that the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration remains committed to making Ogun State investors’ prefererred choice of destination as well as promoting policies such as the Public-Private-Partnership which would lead to the development of the agricultural value chain.
Also speaking, the Trade Promotion Advisor/ Head, Abeokuta Smart Office, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Samson Idowu said only 10 percent of the 240 metric tonnes of cashew nuts grown in Nigeria is processed.
Idowu said the need to diversify the economy from dependence on oil through increased cashew nut processing and exportation, made the Council donate the processing machine to the State in 2018 and also trained the farmers on latest techniques in cashew nut processing adding that increased processing of the cash crop has the potential of making the gateway State an export hub.
The Chief Executive Officer, J22 Concerns Limited, Mr. Yinka Akintola said the company intends to process 500 kilograms of cashew nuts daily noting that the utilisation of the machine would create employment opportunitues for indigenes of the area and bring about human capital development among the people.
He added that his company would also help cashew farmers in Imasayi and its environs expand their acreage of cashew plantation and yield as well as help position farmers in groups so as to access more funding for their business.