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Cashew Nuts Business In Nigeria– All You Need To Know

The cashew nuts business provides a unique economic opportunity; the product is seeing more demand around the world, and that popularity is driving even more local consumption than ever before. The popularity comes from the discovery of all the health benefits that the nuts offer.

In order to make those health benefits commercially available, cashew nuts products that are popularly consumed include the whole nuts as a snack, and the nuts broken into bits which are then mixed with other products like chocolate.

The list of products that can be made with cashew nuts is endless. The product is getting a lot of acceptance, and so even now more research and experimentation is being done on how to package cashew nuts.

Cashew Nuts Business In Nigeria – All You Need To Know

Ever before cashew nuts became popular as an international product, it had already been eating as a delicacy in many parts of southern Nigeria. The same ways through which we processed the nuts all those years ago will still suffice today for those who wish to go into cashew nuts as a business.

The important aspects of this business include sourcing, processing, and packaging. Those who wish to enter the business on a bigger scale can export either the raw or processed nuts, and although heavy equipment can be used, it is still possible to do much of the work manually.

In fact, the biggest percentage of the work involved in cashew nuts processing today is still done by hand. The advantage this business has over many others is that it is quite simple; from the harvesting to the point of sale, everything is quite straightforward.

Step One: Sourcing Cashew Nuts

The cashew tree is abundant in much of southern Nigeria, especially in the coastal areas. It is difficult to ascertain how it came to Nigeria, but it is known that the tree originates in Brazil, and it is known that there has been a lot of voyaging between Brazil and Nigeria even before our modern times.

Cashew nuts can be sourced from the farms and villages in the coastal areas, and even towards the more central states. However, it must be stated that there will be quite some competition involved because interest in the commodity has skyrocketed recently, and with more buyers come higher prices.

Nevertheless, savvy buyers will quickly establish friendships with sellers, and grow a network of suppliers. In fact, some farmers are starting to establish cashew nuts plantations, meaning that supply will increase in the future.

Step Two: Processing The Cashew Nuts

Of course one has to have prepared a site for the processing of the cashew nuts. For optimal levels of cleanliness and healthfulness, it has to be a secure area; free from dust, rain, and any other impurities.

A fryer will be required; it can be built from a cut out metal drum, and modified. The modification will mean adding a lid to the fryer, and a stirrer. This is because cashew nuts explode a toxic substance from the shell (urushiol) when heated. In fact, this was the cause of many injuries to those of us who enjoyed frying cashew nuts back in the day.

With this simple fryer, one can safely fry the cashew nuts without any fear of injury.

The fryer can be placed on a firewood stove, or on a gas or kerosene stove. It will have to be stirred while on the fire, so as to ensure that it roasts evenly. Depending on the intensity of the fire, the frying process may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes. After that, the fryer can be emptied, and a fresh batch poured in.

After a few minutes of cooling, the nuts will have to be processed further by removing the shell.  This can be done manually, all that is needed is a big table, chairs to sit around it, and containers to put the cleaned cashew nuts. Rubber gloves are recommended. Proper clothing, as well as nose masks are also recommended.

Packaging The Cashew Nuts

For the small scale business person, processing the cashew nuts will usually mean putting it in bottles or nylon bags which have been branded or can be branded afterwards. The products are often sold at small shops, supermarkets, and even on the roads.

Whatever the preferred methods of packaging, it is advised that the product be properly sealed so as to maintain freshness. Furthermore, when customers become convinced that the product is well packaged, they will naturally start to demand for the product.

Packaging should be colorful, consistent in net weight, and contain clear contact information. When it is colorful it becomes attractive to potential customers, when the product weight is consistent customers will not be disappointed with what they have bought, and when there is clear contact information, you can get feedback, or bulk purchases.

Further Reading:

Closing

Cashew nuts is big business, and has the potential to be sustainable for the long term. This is a resource that Africa, particularly West Africa has in abundance, but has so far failed to harness. Thankfully, the door is still open, and so there is still a chance to get a place in the industry. All business takes patience and daring; it will not be an easy road.

However, with a rapidly increasing demand, Cashew Nuts processing business can be a very profitable road to take.

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