It may sound very funny but believe me, you can be a millionaire within a year from cashew farming. The future of agriculture lies on tree crops and not cash crops, if I may say. Tree crops like cashew, orange, cocoa and others are more profitable and valuable than other crops, especially in international market. These crops have more market value; they are the most promising means of earning foreign currencies in agriculture.
Cashew, let me say, is an upcoming prospect through which farmers can make a lot of money both at the local market and the international market. Cocoa has been the leading tree crop in international market but recently, cashew has been heading towards the lead role, both at international market and local market. It’s high time farmers optimized this salient and lucrative opportunity.
Nigeria is one of the top producers of cashew in the world, yet the global demand for cashew is increasing at an alarming rate, this provides opportunity for more cultivation. According to Sotonye Anga, the spokesman of Nigeria Cashew Association (NCAN), between February and December, 2017, Nigeria exported 220,000 tons of cashews generating about $402 million. Cashew is a global essential commodity; Nigeria cashew is mainly exported to Vietnam, other countries are China and India, to mention a few.
Here is where you are needed:
Nigeria Cashew Association (NCAN) plans to generate $650 million from the exportation of cashew nut by 2020, the target is 500,000 tons annually. This output will make Nigeria the second largest cashew producer in Africa, after Cote D’Ivoire. This is a huge opportunity for prospective farmers or investor with penchant for agriculture. Cashew is one of the easiest crops to cultivate; it is not laborious and relatively less capital intensive. A hectare of cashew will produce at least 1.5 to 2 tons at about 3-5 years of age, the beginning of fruiting.
Do you know the current price of a ton of cashew in Nigeria?
Do not be surprised, the price of a ton of cashew is far more than the price of a ton of cassava, maize or any other stable crop you can think of. During cashew season, the price of a ton of cashew varies from four hundred thousand naira (#400,000) to four hundred and fifty thousand naira (#450,000); during off season, the price of a ton of cashew is at least seven hundred thousand naira (#700,000). This means that you can make at least a million naira from one hectare of cashew every year. Is this not lucrative!
Why is cashew this valuable?
Farming is becoming more interesting as people are now delving towards eating nutritious foods that prevent them from deleterious diseases. Curing diseases is expensive but preventing a disease is one of the cheapest things you can do for yourself. Eating a single cashew nut will make you healthy and greatly boost your immune system. The massive health benefit of cashew nut has made it a cynosure of all eyes across the globe; also, not only in the local market but in the global market as well. Cashew nut is one of the healthiest foods on earth; take a look at some of the benefits of eating cashew nut:
- Cashew is the bank of nutrients: Yes! I said bank of nutrients. It’s popularly said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; this is true to some extent but trust me cashew does more than that. Cashew contains all the vitamins the body needs to function optimally and prevent diseases; also minerals and protein are highly concentrated in massive quantity in cashew. Cashew contains essential minerals like copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. All these minerals play active role in the proper functioning of the body. Cashew is a rich source of vitamins and protein for healthy growth; eating cashew daily makes you healthy and prevents you from diseases. If you are a health conscious person, then you will understand why cashew should be present in your household.
- Cashew prevents heart diseases.
- Cashew prevents gallstone.
- The zinc in cashew is very important for pregnant women as it helps to maintain stable health status of the child. It also helps in healing wound.
- Cashew reduces the risk of diabetes.
- Cashew contains magnesium; this helps to maintain optimum blood level, boost immune system and keep the bone strong.
- Cashew seed oil is used for cracked heels treatment
- Powdered cashew seeds have anti-venom effects, used for treating snake bites.
- Gum from cashew stem can be used as varnish for woodwork and paper making.
- Cashew fruit can be used to treat infant sore mouth.
- Cashew apple juice serves as an ointment for aches of rheumatism and neuralgia.
- Cashew fruit has anti-bacterial properties and can be used to treat stomach ulcers.
- Cashew juice is rich in vitamin C; it has anti-scurvy effects and widely used in cosmetic industry for the production of various creams and shampoos.
Cashew is very easy to cultivate. Remember it’s a tree crop; it takes about 3 years to
maturity and fruiting. The most fascinating aspect about cashew cultivation is that your profit increases annually because the value of cashew is greatly increasing. The older your plantation, the more fruits it produces annually.
Harvesting cashew starts around mid-January, before the rain starts and harvesting continues till February or at times March. Management of cashew is very easy and not labor intensive like other crops. Weeds, being a known pest for all crops, are not really a problem in cashew cultivation. Weeding is done during the first year only, once they grow to a reasonable height and have branches, they will automatically suppress the weeds.
Pest control is zero to none in cashew cultivation as cashew is a repellant, thus, worry less about pest invasion. Fertilization is very important to increase your yield, especially at the tender age. The fertility of the land you want to plant on is crucial; ensure you select a fertile land.
The benefits of cashew aside the economic benefit is enormous. These are the virtues surrounding the economic value of cashew in both the local market and the global market.
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This post was originally published at JustAgriculture Blog. by Agbabiaka AbdulQuadri. It has been republished here with permission.