Cashew farmers in some parts of the country would to cut the sizes of their plantations if the Federal Government did not come to their aid, John Alagbe, the Chairman of the Cashew Farmers Association in Surulere Local Government of Kwara, said ton Monday.
He said that buyers were offering ridiculous prices for cashew, thereby impoverishing the farmers in the area.
“The people coming to buy our cashew are not helping us; they are offering poor prices and because we
do not want to lose, we have no option than to sell. We have decided to cut down the size of our plantations and diversify to other crops that will benefit us.
“The traders come to buy the cashew at N100 or N150 per five kilogrammes, which is very bad. So we appeal to the government to come to our rescue by regulating the market,’’ Alagbe said.
The chairman pleaded that the government should buy the cashew directly from farmers, to prevent a glut.
Meanwhile, Sotonye Anga, the National Spokesperson of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), confirmed the farmers’ threat.
He, however, said that he had advised the farmers against cutting cashew production.
Anga said that the association has been discussing with the government on the need to establish a Cashew Marketing Cooperative outlet.
“There should be a direct market linkage for cashew farmers. The threat is real because I had a meeting with them and heard their grievances. This is what is happening across the country and farmers need a guaranteed market for cashew across the country.
“Government should take this threat seriously if we are looking at empowering our non-oil export sector,’’ Anga added.