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FMARD Trains Cashew Farmers on Improved Practices

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has trained stakeholders in the Edo State’s cashew value chain on post-harvest handling.

The one-day training was facilitated by the ministry’s cashew value chain department.

The stakeholders were trained on better practices, as it relates to harvesting, drying, bagging, storage and marketing of the commodity.

Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ernest Umakhihe, represented by FMARD’s Deputy Director, Mr Bernad Ukattah, said the place of cashew as the third non-oil export foreign exchange earner for the country has made it imperative to improve on the quality of the commodity.

According to Umakhihe, there was a need for the government to help farmers and others within the value chain to improve on their technical skills, he further explained.

“Cashew is currently providing a livelihood for over 500,000 families in mostly youths and women in Nigeria. It is important to state that the excellence and thoroughness of post-harvest handling affect the quality of cashew products, which in turn affect the county’s reputation for those products and by-products in the local and international market.

“High-quality nuts is of primary concern to exporters and one of the major criteria for success in the international market. Hence dis-coloured, pitted, shrivelled nuts are not be mixed with good nuts,” he said.

Also, he noted that the significance of the commodity would transcend local borders if properly improved upon.

Umakhihe pledged the ministry’s commitment to continue supporting farmers with planting materials and building their capacity in different aspects of agriculture, to deliver quality products.

On his part, the state Director of Agriculture, Edo FMARD Office, Wellington Omoragbon, noted that the key players in other value chains across the state have been beneficiaries of the Ministry’s training programmes.

He thanked FMARD for organising the training and urged the participants to take advantage of it to increase their yield and learn the post-harvest handling of cashew nuts.

“In the last two months, we have had a series of training and empowerment of farmers with seeds and seedlings, tricycles, and cassava and oil palm production equipment,” he said.

Cashew production in Nigeria has risen over the years, placing the country in the top echelon of cashew producers and exporters. The commodity is the third-largest agricultural foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

According to reports, Nigeria generated a total of N38.2 billion from cashew nuts export between March 2019 and March 2020.

The post FMARD Trains Cashew Farmers on Improved Practices appeared first on AgroNigeria.

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