The Spokesman for National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Kehinde Ibikunle has disclosed the group’s need of N13 billion credit facility from commercial banks in Nigeria.
Exporters of raw cashew nuts under the umbrella body had sought order by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for commercial banks to create a special window of credit facility for them.
The N13 billion, according to Ibikunle, would be used to finance cashew export until the end of the year.
Ibikunle said cashew exporters are seeking a special credit package from commercial banks to improve their exports.
While announcing that over 30 per cent of NCAN’s members have abandoned cashew trade because of high-interest rates on loans, Ibikunle enjoined the CBN to address the pressing issue.
Ibikunle maintained that the $480 million targets the group set for itself as foreign earnings from cashew nuts export at the beginning of the year, might not be met unless the banks come to their aid.
Cashew is a cash crop grown in 19 states of the country. The states include Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Niger, Nassarawa, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Taraba and Kwara.
Nigeria currently produces 120,000 tons of Cashew Nut annually and has the capacity for producing more.
Cashew nut is among Nigeria’s major agricultural exports. Others include rubber, hibiscus flower, cocoa butter, sesame seed, processed wood, frozen shrimps and processed leather.
The umbrella body promotes the Nigerian cashew industry, and at the same time encourage investment into the Nigerian cashew sector.