Nigeria is a major player in the global cashew industry with a rising market share and statistically projected average production increase of 5% annually. Nigeria has a relatively long cashew-producing season from December to June. Cashew is stored, so exporting goes on all year round to guarantee supply. Cashew production is thus projected to go only one way – upwards. Being a premium agricultural commodity, cashew production and trading is a highly remunerative agribusiness with very high prospects in the global commodity market due to the health benefits recently revealed in cashew nuts and cashew apples, therefore expanding the economic value of the cashew tree at a rapid rate. The cashew tree is commonly cultivated for its nut; although the cashew apple contains essential vitamins and minerals.
The raw nuts, cashew kernels, and cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) are the three principal cashew items traded on the international market. The raw cashew nut is the cashew tree’s major commercial commodity. Nuts are either exported raw or treated before being shipped. The by-product is released during the processing of raw nuts.
The price of a cashew nut is governed by the quality of the raw nuts, which is affected by various factors. Cashew nuts quality is determined by characteristics, including:
- Moisture Content
- Kernel Out-turn Ratio (KOR)
- Nut Count
- Defective Rate
For quality control purposes, the moisture content is the most selling factor of the cashew nut. The recommended moisture percentage for cashew nuts storage and export is 8 – 10 percent, which is attained by adequate sun-drying of the cashew nuts after harvest. The kernel out-turn ratio (KOR) is a test that complements the defect rate test. The defective test determines the degree of snags in the nuts, which includes bad or rotten nuts, void nuts, premature nuts, and spotted nuts. Nut count is a function of cashew nut size distribution, whereas the defective rate test determines the degree of defects in the nuts. Harvesting only ripe cashew from the tree reduces the rate of defects in the nut and in so doing increases the KOR, hence, attracting a good market price. Avoiding direct contact of the nuts and the earth (soil) by preserving in a clean dry place discourages germination and defects. Storage of raw dried cashew nuts in jute bags aids respiration and discourages bad defects.
At Agrorite, we apply world-class technological approaches to ensure the quality of cashew nuts required by premium off-takers are surpassed while creating significant returns for our investors and smallholder farmers. We have developed this through our experienced quality check personnel who do a rigorous inspection of the stocks, with random but elaborate cutting tests to ensure zero tolerance for substandard quality and oversee adequate sun-drying of the raw cashew nuts before it is bagged and containerized for onward shipment to the respective ports of delivery. The combination of technology and best practices on our part, has seen us carry out several cycles of raw cashew nut trading both locally and internationally which has lent credence to our status as a credible and reliable supplier of raw cashew nuts providing quality, distinguished services, efficiency, and timely deliveries.
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