Cashew firms discuss Nigeria trade

Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015 08:00

Viet Ha Cashew Import - Export JSC (Vietcashew) workers clasify cashew nuts for export. Viet Nam imported 769,390 tonnes last year, a year-on-year increase of 59.28 per cent, to process for export. — VNA/VNS Photo Chi Tuong
HCM CITY (Biz Hub) — A delegation of Nigerian cashew industry executives met with their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM city yesterday to discuss issues affecting trade between the two sides and strengthening ties between Nigerian raw cashew exporters and Vietnamese processors.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of the Viet Nam Cashew Association, said despite enjoying a bumper cashew crop last year — when output topped 500,000 tonnes — Viet Nam imported 769,390 tonnes last year, a year-on-year increase of 59.28 per cent, to process for export.

Nigeria was the second largest supplier to Viet Nam last year, selling 106,734 tonnes or 13.4 per cent of Viet Nam's imports, he said.

But the quality of Nigerian cashew was lower compared with some other African countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Tanzania, he said.

Bach Khanh Nhut, a member of the VINACAS executive board and deputy general director of VINACONTROL, said: "The quality of raw cashew nuts imported from Nigeria has improved significantly. However, some sellers still supplied low-quality products, including sprouted and deformed nuts with rot, decay, mould and old cashew, which caused serious losses to Vietnamese buyers and affected the reputation of the Nigerian cashew industry.

He urged Nigerian exporters to carefully check moisture levels and the quality and quantity of raw nuts before loading them into containers.

Besides, they should use clean, durable and sealed containers without odours, and add desiccants and insert carton paper around and inside the containers, he said.

Babatola Faseru, president of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, said his country implemented many measures such as providing training for farmers, installing equipment, and building better drying grounds to improve cashew quality.

Nigerian cashew would surely be of better quality this year, he said, adding output was also expected to increase significantly this year.

According to Olusegun Awolowo, the CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, cashew grows in almost every state in his country.

With an annual output of 120,000 tonnes, Nigeria is the third largest cashew producer in Africa and seventh largest in the world.

Most of the raw nut is exported to countries like Singapore, India, Viet Nam, and UAE, and Nigeria plans to strengthen trade promotion to become the biggest supplier to Viet Nam.

Its long-term plans also include increasing processing to add value and create jobs, and the country wants to learn from Viet Nam's experience in processing and establish a partnership with the Vietnamese industry.

Thanh said under the framework of the 2015 VINACAS Golden Rendezvous to be held in HCM City in November this year, the association would organise a programme called "The Cashew Tree Rejuvenation" to transfer technology to some African countries.

"We'll be ready for a co-operation programme with our Nigerian cashew stakeholders and technology transfer to prevent post-harvest losses. — VNS

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