A major glut along with poor turnover was confronted by merchants, traders, farmers, and other financiers in the cashew market in Kogi State in the 2018 farming season caused by heavy losses summed over N50 Billion. Kogi is the largest cashew-making state in Nigeria, shipping around 100 metric tonnes of cashew nuts out of the 220 metric tonnes exported by the whole nation yearly.
Nevertheless, the glut that struck the cashew market in Kogi State is creating worries among farmers and other traders. Stephen Ahiaba, State’s big-time cashew farmer and foremost VP of the NCAN (National Cashew Association of Nigeria), attributed the glut majorly on what he depicted as “policy somersault” on the government’s part and dearth of attention to the industry that he pinpointed had led to poor quality of cashew nuts yielded in the state.
He stated the cashew nuts’ worth at the international market majorly relied on the quality of the item; thus, the problem of quality control should be the foremost priority in the production of cashew. According to him, the sole approach to move forward is for the government to examine the problem of quality control in the market in Kogi State so that the worth of the product would give a lift once again in the international market.
On the other end, Mr. Kehinde Oloruntoba, Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture, stated the problem of glut in the market was not specific to the state, instead a national issue occurred owing to the interplay of forces at the global market. He said, “The best we can execute is to assure we yield the finest cashew nuts so that although the rate is dropping, the drop shouldn’t be as severe as it is at present.”
Thus, the glut is likely to hamper the growth of the market on state-level as well as globally.