How to Boost Cashew Exports In Nigeria – Experts
Can Nigeria grow its cashew export market?
Yes, says the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) National Publicity Secretary, Sotonye Anga.
He expects a major jump from last year’s 160,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew export worth $300 million.
He however noted that the deficit in transport infrastrcuture may be a problem.
Noting that shipping lines handle fewer agro exports, Anga observed that on-shore container- processing time was low.
Waiting time for cashew exports at the ports, he said, was not improving as commodities stay too long before they are ferried out.
Group Executive Director (GED) Logistics and Distribution, Dangote Group, Alhaji Sada Ladan, described the issue as disturbing.
Speaking at a transport forum, organised by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Lagos, he noted that due to the poor inland logistics and bad roads, it had become expensive for the group to move its products across the country.
While the transport sector is functional, Ladan noted that it suffers from low quality, long travelling times and poor reliability, particularly the rail.
The situation isexacerbated by the conditions on transit roads from the North to the South.
For example, some transporters complain that the road from Mokwa in Niger State has become almost impassable. As a result, drivers are forced to re-route, thereby adding about 40 per cent to the costs of grains. In some areas, the combination of diversions and rain has seen truck freight rates soar over.
Former Nigerian Airways Managing Director, Mr Yomi Jones, said the nation’s performance on most logistics indicators, including the quality of transport infrastructure, was worse than that of other countries.
He observed that the patterns in transport and trade logistics generate inefficiencies that lead to loss of much money and man hours and retards growth.
He explained that the transport supply chain system was not providing the value-added services that have become the hallmark of modern logistics, such as multimodal systems, that combine the strengths of various transport modes into one integrated system.
Jones stressed that logistics infrastructure covering road, rail, waterways and air network is the backbone of the economy.
According to him, an ideal situation will be to have adequate infrastructure capacity riding on which the various modes can form a logistics chain for seamless flow of goods and services.
Jones said Nigeria needs good logistics infrastructure to boost competencies and quality of services by sector participants.