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How To Write A Business Plan On The Export Of Cashew Nuts From Nigeria.

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How To Write A Business Plan On The Export Of Cashew Nuts From Nigeria.

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Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is an important industrial and export crop whose potential is yet to be fully exploited in Nigeria. Cashew has for many years been used for food and income generation. The trees are usually grown for their kernels which when roasted have a very pleasant taste. Cashew is the common name for a tropical and subtropical evergreen tree, Anacardium occidentale L., in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae.

It is also the name for the commercially important kidney-shaped, nut like seed of this plant, which is edible when roasted or cooked (New World Encyclopaedia, 2008). The plant is a native of Tropical Central and South America, notably North Eastern Brazil, from where the Portuguese explorers introduced it into Nigeria in the 15th/16th century.

Nigeria, having a total area of 100,000 ha cashew plantation and an average annual production of 80,000 MT contributes almost 16% of the total production of the agro-ecological zone. Its production is 5% of the global situation. During the last three years, Nigeria has been one of the leading suppliers of raw cashew nuts exported to India. Nearly 18,000 to 23,000MT of raw nuts per annum have been exported earning about N 23 billion annually.

The cashew apple, also called cashew fruit, is the fleshy part of the cashew fruit that is attached to the cashew nut. The top end of the cashew apple is attached to the stem that comes off the tree. The bottom end of the cashew apple attaches to the cashew nut, which is encased in a shell. In botanical terms, the cashew apple is an accessory fruit that grows on the cashew seed (which is the nut).

The cashew apple is a soft fruit, rich in nutrients, and contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. It is eaten fresh, cooked in curries, or fermented into vinegar, as well as an alcoholic drink. It is also used to make preserves, chutneys, and jams in some countries such as India and Brazil.

The fruit juice segment is of great importance and the cashew apple juice presents a great potential for both national and international juice market.

Available statistics in Nigeria indicates that the cashew apple fruit is not fully utilized.

For a long time it has been disposed of and left to rot or fed to livestock after harvesting the cashew nut although recent developments have captured its utilization in the manufacture of juice and drinks.

The history of cashew in Nigeria dated back to 15th century. Then, it was mainly used in afforestation schemes for the control of erosion in the former Eastern Nigeria.

However, the commercial cashew plantations started in Nigeria in the early 1950’s with the establishment of first commercial plantations at Oghe, Oji and Mbala by the defunct Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation (ENDC) and Iwo, Eruwa and Upper Ogun by the defunct Western Nigeria Development Corporation (WNDC).

From these locations, the planting of the crop spread to other parts of Nigeria particularly the Central and Northern States of Nigeria. Research on cashew production and its uses started at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan in 1971.

The introduction of Brazilian cashew bio-type with improved and desirable nut and kernel quality characteristics by Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) has further increased the crops spread and popularity in Nigeria.

The commodity of commercial importance is the nut, which contains 47% fat, 21% protein and 22% carbohydrate.

It also contains vitamins, especially thiamine. Cashew nut proteins are complete, having all the essential amino acids and a kilogramme of the nut yields about 6000 calories compared to 3600 calories from cereals, 1800 calories from meat and 650 calories from fresh citrus fruit.

Worldwide, trade in cashews exceeds US$2 billion and demand is increasing. Of the total world supply, 110 000 tonnes are traded on international markets. There is great investment opportunity for the processing and export of the commodity in Nigeria.

There is an urgent need for the injection of more funds by the Government into the Nigerian cashew processing sector in order to add value to the products such that processed kernels are exported. The Nigerian cashew nuts are of high quality and its processed kernels have wide acceptability in European and American markets.

The return on investment on the export of raw cashew nuts is estimated between 10%- 15%.

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Business Plans in Nigeria

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