Transforming The South-East Through Cashew Farming

My brother and friend, Chijioke Onyeneke not too long ago introduced me to some big Lebanese, entrepreneurs, who opened my eyes to deeper opportunities in some of the cash crops that we have at our backyard. They have also committed to partner with us in some of the agro revolution schemes that we have in the works in the South East.

They already have a producing cashew processing factory in Oyo state. Massive cash cow based on their experiences so far

So, since that wonderful meeting, we’ve had other meetings and are gradually progressing the partnership.

Then, there is something fascinating about the new revelations I got relating to those men and how we easily miss the gold located at our backyard.

Okigwe LGA and neighbouring towns within a contiguous 100sqkm radius distance are so blessed with enormous bank of cashew plantation. Within this corridor alone we harvest and sell as raw materials over 15,000 tons of cashew nuts annually.

In fact, towards every year-end, like the season we are in now, I used to mobilize funds to settle some of my loyalists in my community to lease cashew plantation for management, harvest and sale of the seed. Ways of empowering them.

Last year, some of them complained bitterly that the raw cashew nut merchants and buyers paid only N5000 to N10,000 for 82kg bag of raw cashew nuts. Which is about N100,000 or less for a ton of the fresh nuts. They complained and were not happy.

This afternoon, I went to the supermarket to buy groceries and drinks. I bought this 500grams bottle of roasted cashew nuts. When they machined it, the price was N2,050. 500grams of cashew nuts for N2,050?

Now, let me explain to us the irony of the whole missed opportunities and why sometimes, I wonder what they do at the municipal levels of government. Rather than sell this cashew nuts to the Lebanese, who exports it, process it in Beirut and ship it back to us, why not bring in the processing plants and do same here?

Now our plan is to start with a mini plant that can process just 10% of what we harvest within this axis. We shall then ramp it up to 50% within the next 5 years.

The plan is to start with a conservative input plant capacity of about 1,500 tons per annum. That is the ut of 500tons of processed and roasted cashew nuts. 3tons of the raw cashew nut yields 1 ton of processed/roasted nut.

To set up this fully automated processing machine plus the input stocks and working capital for one year will cost about N450 to N500m.

However, the most interesting revelation here is that the output of 500 tons of processed and roasted cashew nuts for one year based on the current wholesale market price of $9000 per ton is about $4,500,000/N1.62billion

Remember that I bought 500grams of the roasted and bottled cashew nuts for N2,050. This translates to N4,100,00 /$11,325 per ton at the shopping mall.

Interestingly, we already have an in-principle off-taker for the whole 500 tons processed and roasted cashew nuts at $7000/ton. That is assured returns of $3.5m per annum or N1.27billion per annum.

N1.27billion for an outlay of N500m. You can’t beat that.

This singular agro-processing plant will create over 3000 direct and indirect jobs.

We will not wait for any government this time around. We will not go to the banks to finance this. We shall give maximum opportunities for Ndi Igbo within and in the diaspora to take a stake and make huge returns from this windfall.

With as little as N50, ou will have a stake in a bumper cash cow going concern that will grant you over 100% ROI and help create jobs / develop Ala Igbo.

Our dividend payout ratio will be a minimum of 80% on PAT.

To build up a nation and empower her people, do not require any skyrocket science. We shall keep you abreast of our plans and programs. Keep a date with us. The information memorandum and offer for subscription documents will be out soon.

We have already secured the 4-acre land for it.

OBIARAERI, Nnaemeka Onyeka

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