The Federal Government has raised cashew production target from the current 260,000 metric tonnes to over 500,000 metric tonnes.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, revealed this during a media briefing in Abuja ahead the 16th edition of the annual conference of the African Cashew Alliance.
This is the first time the event is holding in Nigeria since the establishment of the Alliance in 2006, about 16 years ago.
The event, which is alternated among member countries, is held annually to avail cashew-producing countries the opportunity to share experiences and attract investment to the sub-sector.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Evelyn Ngige, the Minister explained that Nigeria was not harnessing the potential of the cashew sector in terms of export earnings.
For instance, he said out of the current production figure of 260.000 metric tonnes, 180.000 metric tonnes are traded as raw cashew nuts, 15,000 metric tonnes are processed into cashew kernels and about 10,000 metric tonnes of the kernel are exported.
Nigeria currently earns about $450m annually from exports of cashew. On the global stage, cashew nut production is projected to be about 730, 000 metric tonnes and the demand is estimated to be 4.5 million metric tonnes.