How To Start Cashew Nuts Farming In Nigeria Or Africa: Complete Guide

How To Start Cashew Nuts Farming In Nigeria Or Africa: Complete Guide

Cashew nuts farming in Nigeria is a lucrative agro venture that offers so many opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start a cashew nut farm in Nigeria for eventual resale of the harvested crops to local exporters to directly to the international market.

Nigeria is currently the 6th highest producer of cashew nuts in Africa, trailing Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mozambique, according to the cashew association.

Cashew nut farming is very popular in Nigeria, with a land area of over 320,000 hectares used in the cultivation of this cash crop and the country currently producing over 120,000 tons of Cashew Nuts annually.

Since investing in cashew nuts farming is a lucrative long term investment that can thrive for over 50 years continued crop harvest and retail cyle, venturing into cashew nuts farming in Nigeria is a great option for new and existing agro entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

See Also: How To Start The Lucrative Export Of Cashew Nuts From Nigeria To International Buyers


What Is Cashew Nut

Cashew, known botanically as Anacardium occidentale, is the seed of a tropical evergreen shrub related to mango, pistachio and poison ivy. Commercial growers cultivate cashews in warm, humid climates across the globe; Vietnam, Nigeria, India, Brazil, and Indonesia are among the top producers.

Cashew nuts are a kidney-shaped, glove-like seed, that grows at the base of the cashew fruit.


Business Opportunities In The Cashew Nut Farming Business Around The World

1). Source Of Food:

The cashew fruit and the cashew nuts are both a great source of food. The fruits can be sold to people in communities for food, and the cashew nuts, the most important part of the cashew fruit when roasted, can be sold to people as a snack.

2). Alcohol Production:

The cashew fruit is actively used in the production of alcohol by many alcohol producers around the world, making the sale of the cashew fruit to their facilities, a great source of income for the cashew nuts farmers, traders, or exporters in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.

See Also: How To Buy Cashew Nuts In Nigeria: The Complete Guide


Facts And Benefits Of Cashew Nuts

  • Cashews nuts are about 21% protein, 46% fat, and 25% carbohydrates.
  • Cashews nuts are eaten mainly as a premium-quality snack food.
  • The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives used in many applications including lubricants, waterproofing, paints, and arms production
  • Cashews are high in calories. 100g of nuts provide 553 calories.
  • Cashew nuts are rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids.
  • In 2010, Nigeria was the top producer of cashew nuts, producing 650,000 tonnes.
  • Cashew nuts shell are surrounded by a toxic oil or resin that’s similar to urushiol called “anacardic acid,” which can burn or irritate the skin.
  • The starch content of cashew nuts is about 23%, which is a lot higher than most other nuts and makes them suitable for thickening sauces.
  • Cashews are commonly used in Southern and Southeastern Asian cuisine.


Types Of Cashew Nuts

First, raw cashew nuts qualities are measured in Kernel Outturn Ratios which can range from 30 KOR to over 50 KOR.

But when it comes to the roasted cashew nuts, there are different varieties with various sizes and qualities. It is also key to know that roasted cashew nuts are called cashew kernels.

The types of cashew kernels are:

  • W180: This is also called the King of Cashews. They are much larger than the rest and are very expensive.
  • W210: This is commonly known as Jumbo nuts. They are also pricy, but not as expensive as the W180 grade of cashew
  • W240: This is also a large sized cashew nuts grade. Their price is in the middle of the pack.
  • W320: These are the most popular type of roasted cashew kernels. They’re very available in the global market, are moderately priced, and are the most common size that would be requested.
  • W450: is the smallest and cheapest white whole kernels and hence the favourite among low priced whole grades

See Also: How To Start A Lucrative Shea Butter Production In Nigeria: The Complete Guide


How To Start Cashew Nuts Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide

1). Pick A Great Site:

The first step is to pick a great site for cultivation. Some parts of Nigeria have great soil and climatic conditions to produce the best quality cashew nuts and other parts have different soil types and produce different grades.

When you understand the target quality you’re aiming for, you could get a site within the environment.

2). Planting:

While planting cashew, it is advisable to buy already sprouting seedlings or propagated plants from an established nursery, because while seedlings take 3 years to produce, it takes 5 years for the seeds to produce.

In cashew cultivation, seeds planted directly have less taste and less fruit than the parent plant. For commercial purposes go for the grafted ones. If you most, use containers or plant directly into a prepared bed. Insert 2-3 seeds into a hole of 2-3 cm depth.

2). Fertilization:

Apply nitrogen, phosphorus and zinc fertilizers. Cashew crops need nutrients at every point in their development to grow faster and to produce good fruits.

During the growing stage, fertilize them during fruiting and flowering. Apply 15kg of farmyard manure once in a year to a mature cashew tree.

3). Harvesting/Drying Of Cashew Nuts

The ripe fruit starts dropping from late January/Early February depending on where you plant them in Nigeria.

Before the trees start dropping their fruits, make sure you clear the surroundings of the trees.

It’s important to pick the nuts within 2 to 3 days of falling to avoid quality reduction.

Next, use a sharp knife to detach the apple from the cashew nuts. Ineffective detaching of the nuts would affect the quality.

Dry them on a clean surface and keep turning them frequently to ensure uniform drying


How To Store Cashew Nuts

You should store cashew nuts in jute bags that allow free flow of air. Place the bags on wooden pallets in a dry place with good ventilation.

Don’t place the cashew nuts bags on the floor to avoid moisture absorption.

See Also: How To Start A Lucrative Sesame Seeds Farming Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide


Challenges in Cashew Nuts farming in Nigeria:

Many factors that affect cashew nuts farming in Nigeria. Some of these challenges are:

  1. Poor funding of research activities
  2. Pest and diseases
  3. Bush burning
  4. It is a seasonal business as the cashew nuts are only gathered during a season once a year. So production cannot happen all year round.
  5. Lack of highly efficient storage facilities for the unprocessed nuts 
  6. Lack of capital for large scale production
  7. Lack of easy access to the international market by most cashew nuts farmers in Nigeria
  8. Instability of the international market price of Cashew Nuts
  9. Lack of adequate government assistance
  10. Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality Cashew Nuts In Nigeria
  11. Lack of funds to import international standard Cashew Nuts processing machinery into Nigeria
  12. Thieves and criminals



Cashew nuts farming in Nigeria is one of the most profitable farming businesses to go into with one of the highest profit margins in the agro-business when exported. 

Nigeria presently produces above 120,000 metric tons of cashew nuts yearly and can produce as much as 600,000 metric tons, making it a lucrative business to invest in with higher future prospective opportunities.


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