Lagos – The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) says it is excited about Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife’s interest to invest in cashew plantation.
The National Publicity Officer of NCAN, Mr Sotonye Anga, said on Monday in Lagos that the plantation would cover 100 acres of land in Ile-Ife, Osun.
Anga said that this was coming at a time when the association was driving toward establishing new cashew plantations across the country.
The NCAN spokesperson said that existing cashew plantations were over 50 years old and the need for new ones was important.
“I am pleased to announce that the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has joined Nigeria’s cashew family.
“The Ooni is now a cashew farmer and by farming cashew, we can build the future of Nigeria’s cashew and earn more foreign exchange and reduce the pressure on the Naira.
“The dynamic traditional ruler took to cashew farming so as to create jobs and make Osun the leading cashew powerhouse in Nigeria and worldwide.
“The state of the art modern cashew plantation owned by the Ooni covers over 100 acres of land in the heart of Yorubaland,’’ Anga said.
He also revealed that the opening of the plantation has been scheduled for June 7 to kick-start the 2016 cashew planting season and cashew expansion programme.
According to him, the establishment of cashew plantations will create diverse opportunities for other businesses to flourish.
He said: “Cashew plantation establishment is labour intensive and starting one has multiplier effects and creates diverse opportunities for other ancillary businesses to flourish.
“It will stimulate economic activities in rural areas, encourage urban to rural migration as people will go to where the money is and help diversify the nation’s economy.
“So, we are proud of this giant step taken by the Ooni of Ife in establishing a cashew plantation and we urge more well meaning Nigerians to do the same.
“Cashew is money making, health promoting, soil-conserving and environment friendly crop’’.
The Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development; Trade and Investment, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola and other dignitaries will grace the plantation’s opening in Ile-Ife on June 7.