The Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kehinde Oloruntoba has described the state as the highest producer of cashew nuts worldwide, producing over 100,000 metric tonnes out of the about 200,000 metric tonnes exported last year.
He disclosed this on Friday during an agriculture exhibition organised to mark the second year anniversary of governor Yahaya Bello.
He said cashew nuts from Kogi State has become a hot cake and highly valued on the international market and would soon sell more than crude oil, currently the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.
The commissioner encouraged all to go back to the farm, adding that Vietnam, which is the major buyer of the cashew nuts from Nigeria, made over $3 billion from the produce last year.
He said that the state has no business being poor, being also the highest producer of cassava and coffee, but that previous administrations refused to harness the resources for the overall development of the state.
According to him, when Bello became governor two years ago, the agric ministry had no functional equipment, while the staff and farmers’ morale of staff and farmers’ morale were at the lowest ebb.
He said that the governor changed the story with the purchase of over 40 new tractors, establishment of 50-ton capacity rice mill at Omi dam and provision of incentives to farmers.