How To Start Cashew Nut Farming In Nigeria: Beginners Guide
Cashew nut farming in Nigeria offers many opportunities and possibilities for anyone who ventures into this very lucrative cash crop production business in Nigeria. As a beginner in the cashew nut farming business, there is a need for you to have a very good understanding of how the cashew nut farming industry in Nigeria works. Today, Nigeria is among the top 10 countries when it comes to cashew nut farming and cashew production in the world.
Cashew is a perennial tree crop that is generally single-trunked. The leaves of a cashew tree are thick and predominantly veined. You should know that cashew nut farming did not just start today. The cashew tree has been cultivated for more than 400 years specifically for food and medicine. The cashew tree is scientifically called Anacardium occidentale.
The seed of the cashew is externally attached to the flesh of the cashew fruit, also called the cashew apple or false fruit. The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria has carried out lots of research on cashew and its farming. Thanks to their research, there has been improved seedlings and increase in the yield of cashew nut farming.
The objective of this is to expose you to the needed requirements for having a successful cashew nut farming business in Nigeria.
The Importance Of Cashew Nut Farming In Nigeria
The economic importance of cashew nut farming in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. You should note that the current demand for cashew is currently less than the supply. This only tells you that the cashew nut market in Nigeria is very large and demanding too. For you that want to venture into cashew nut farming and agribusiness investors too, this is very good news.
Another interesting to note about cashew nut farming in Nigeria is the high global demand for cashews. Although, Nigeria is still not able to meet her export requirements when it comes to cashew nut farming. Cashew nut farming greatly contributed to the growth of the economy of Nigeria by significantly growing her total income.
It is very important that you note that starting a cashew nut farming business in Nigeria requires that you have the requisite knowledge about the business. It is very obvious that the value chain of cashew brings on board many players, this means great opportunities for investment. But for you to really enjoy these benefits, you need to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for this cashew business.
Cashew Nut Farming Products And Their Economic Values
The cashew apple or false fruit
This is an edible component of the cashew, and it is very rich in vitamin C. The good thing about this cashew apple is that you can decide to eat it fresh, dry it, and can it as a preserve. It can also be squeezed for fresh juice which can be consumed directly or fermented into cashew wine, especially in West Africa. In the South American country of Brazil, the cashew apple is used for the production of soft and alcoholic drinks and jams too.
Cashew nut kernel
This is the primary product of the cashew nut which is the edible part of the cashew nut. It is either consumed directly by the consumer or eaten as roasted and salted nuts. It is also one of the products of bakeries and confectioneries, where finely chopped cashew nut kernels are used in the production of sweets, cakes, chocolates, and ice creams. You can see for yourself that the cashew nut market in Nigeria is extremely large.
Another product of cashew nut farming business in Nigeria is the cashew wine. The cashew wine is manufactured in many countries in Asia and South America. Cashew wine is an alcoholic drink with an alcoholic content between 6-12%. The wine is light yellow in color.
Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL)
This product of cashew nut farming is a very important industrial raw material. As of today, there are more than 200 patents for the industrial application of cashew nut shell liquid. It serves as raw material for the automotive industry where it is used as friction powder for the clutch disks and brake linings.
The cashew nut shell liquid is also used in acid-resistant paints, varnishes, enamels, black lacquers for the decoration of vases, and as fungicides and insecticides. It is also used in tropical medicine for the treatment of warts, ringworm, leprosy, elephantiasis, and corns.
Cashew Nut Farming In Nigeria
You should note that cashew nut farming requires lots of work; however the financial reward that comes at the end. In this cashew nut farming business, you have to work for more than two years before your cashew plantation starts to produce cashew. You need to nurture the seeds in a nursery before they can be transplanted to the permanent site. The young cashew trees will need constant care till they attain maturity and are able to go without so much care from you.
Requirements For Starting Your Cashew Nut Farming In Nigeria
Before starting your cashew nut plantation in Nigeria, there are certain areas you need to focus on for optimal result and yield. The value chain of cashew nut farming business in Nigeria is where you need to focus all your attention. You have the option of selling your cashew nuts unprocessed or processing them before selling. Where the onus lies is in your identification of the right choice that gives you the maximum profit.
The processing of cashew nuts greatly increases their market value. It is also imperative that you always maintain a healthy balance between expenses and profits. Below are the important requirements for starting your cashew nut farming in Nigeria:
You must have your cashew plantation business plan
For you to succeed in cashew nut farming business in Nigeria, your cashew plantation business plan must be available. Having a detailed cashew plantation business plan will guide you in your decision making during the course of your cashew nut farming business. Aside from guiding you in your decision making, the cashew plantation business plan will also help you in seeking financial support for your business.
To be able to woo an investor to invest in your cashew nut farming, you must have a cashew farming business proposal. Your proposal on cashew nut processing in Nigeria will greatly improve your chances of getting funds for your cashew plantation business in Nigeria.
Take information from the correct source
There are many things available on the internet today; you really need to always verify any information before you apply them in your cashew plantation business. The importance of getting your information from the appropriate authorities cannot be overemphasized. You can start with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) located in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Having first-hand information from reliable trusted, and dependable sources will significantly increase your chances of success in your cashew nut farming business.
Register your cashew nut farming business
You must have your cashew business registered in Nigeria with the appropriate authorities for you to go about your business without any fear of harassment or intimidation. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the government agency that is saddled with the responsibility of registering new businesses in Nigeria. All you need to do is locate their nearest office to you and get your cashew business registered with a token.
The benefit of registering your cashew nut farming business is that you will have the leverage to operate in a commercial capacity.
The scale of your cashew nut farming business
What will really determine whether you start on the subsistence scale or commercial scale is your financial capacity? It is your financial strength that determines your scope of work. You must structure your cashew nut farming business to align with your available resources. Without doing this, you risk falling into very difficult times financially.
The cultivation of cashew nuts
Now that everything has been sorted out, you will then proceed to the cultivation of your cashew nuts. For the cultivation of cashew, it thrives in a warm humid climate with a minimum of 600mm of rainfall. This has made cashew plants to grow very well in Nigeria, especially in the Sothern region of the country, most especially in the South East.
Cashew can grow in sandy soils that are known to be unfavorable to other fruit trees, and plants. For maximum yield, you should have a deep-freeze sandy soil or sandy-loamy soil. You can reproduce cashew from their seeds or through vegetative methods like budding and grafting. The vegetative reproduction method offers higher and earlier. However, you need the services of someone skilled in that art to carry out the procedure for you.
One may ask how many cashew trees per hectare? When planting your cashew trees, you should give them a 10m by 5m spacing. The above spacing will give you a density of about 200 cashew trees per hectare. It also affords you the opportunity to grow or plant inter-crops at the early stage of your cashew trees.
Cashew diseases prevention and control
It is no news that pest and diseases greatly reduce the yield of agricultural crops and plants, and cashews are not an exception to this effect. The insects that negatively affect cashew include the red-banded thrips, fruit scrapper, root borer, and stem girdler. These pests can be controlled using pesticides.
There are three main diseases that cashew farmers are faced within the course of their cashew nut farming business in Nigeria. These diseases include:
- Twig die-back
- Flower die-back
- Root rot of cashew crops
The root rot of cashew seedlings can lead to a loss of up 10-15% of the total cost of your cashew nut farming business. The death of more than 50% of the vegetative shoots of cashew is caused by twig die-back, while 38-70% reduction in the total yield is caused by flower die-back cashew disease.
Harvesting of your cashew
Cashew tree blooming takes up to 2-3 months and the ripening of the fruits occurs about two months after flowering. You must note that the process of the collecting and processing of the cashew is really time-consuming. If you are interested in the production of jams, the fruits to be used should be plucked from the cashew tree before they fall to the ground.
If allowed to fall to the ground, the cashew apple may become damaged. The more the cashew apple ripens, the sweeter it tastes. For whichever scope of cashew nut farming business you have chosen, you venture into it once the harvesting is concluded.
For your business plan on cashew farming or any other farming business niche, contact us at Entrepreneur Nigeria through +2347037281050. We provide you with MBA standard business plan that will help seek for funds as well as attract investors to your business.
You can also share your cashew farming experience as well as your questions with us through the comment box below. Thanks for reading.