Lagos -The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) on Wednesday hailed the Federal Government’s choice of Audu Ogbeh as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogbeh is a renowned cashew farmer.
Mr Sotonye Anga, the National Publicity Secretary of the association, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Anga said that the sector needed a vibrant agriculturalist to oversee its affairs.
He noted that Ogbeh’s was already “cashing cash in cashew’’ because his cashew farm covered a land area of more than 250 acres.
“NCAN congratulates Chief Audu Ogbeh.
“This is another first for the cashew industry; it is another way of attracting more people to agriculture, and cashew in particular.
“Now, a farmer is the minister of agriculture, meaning that he will understand the terrain and set achievable agendas that will move the sector forward.
“Chief Audu Ogbeh has been cashing the cash from cashew, which is one of Nigeria’s best kept secret
“Today, we are pleased to bring this noble achievement to the public domain.
“It will serve as encouragement to all, and get people to know that there is dignity in taking to cashew farming,’’ Anga said.
The publicist used the opportunity to call on more Nigerians to take to cashew farming because of its rising global demand.
According to Anga, the cashew section of agriculture should be able to meet both local and international demand of about 600,000 metric tons.
He said that Nigeria needed an additional 400,000 hectares of land to for cashew production to create a work space for more than 320,000 people.
“At the moment, there is local and international demand gap of 600,000 metric tonnes of cashew, which Nigerian farmers must fill.
“Achieving this demand that Nigeria should put an additional 400,000 hectares of land under cashew cultivation, with yields of 1,500kg per hectare.
“This will also create a work space for 320,000 new cashew farmers and this is a great opportunity to reduce unemployment through cashew production.
Anga, however, pledged that cashew farmers, across the country, would work towards making high yielding, disease resistant cashew seedlings.
NAN recalls that Ogbeh has a cashew farm, which is one of the best kept farms in Nigeria.
The farm is located at Efugo in Otukpa, Ogbadigo Local Government area of Benue. (NAN)