How to Export Cashew Nuts from Nigeria

Among the various cashew-producing nations, Nigeria stands out not only for the superior quality of its cashew nuts but also for the ease with which dealers and international buyers can acquire them. In many African countries, government control over cashew nut sales can make buying and selling a cumbersome and bureaucratic process, as observed in countries like Tanzania.

Local companies in Nigeria enjoy the freedom to buy, sell, and trade cashew nuts and kernels, making the entire process straightforward and accessible to international buyers and dealers. Over the past few years, Nigeria has witnessed a surge in interest from global buyers, including countries like Vietnam, India, China, and several others.

Nigeria’s prominence in the cashew nut market is further underscored by its widespread production. With more than 19 states engaged in cashew nut cultivation, the country boasts an average annual yield ranging from 40 to 51 produce.

This distribution reflects the inclusive nature of cashew nut production across the nation. However, certain regions, such as Ogbomosho in Oyo State, have earned a reputation for consistently delivering high-quality cashew nuts, with outturns ranging from 47 to 53 at the start of the harvest season.

Cashew nuts, scientifically known as Anacardium occidentale, are kidney-shaped seeds that are native to South America but are now widely cultivated in tropical regions around the world.

These nuts are not only delicious but also highly nutritious, making them a popular snack and ingredient in various culinary dishes.

Here are some key facts about cashew nuts:

  1. Nutritional value: Cashew nuts are a nutrient-rich food. They are an excellent source of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They are particularly rich in vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin K, and B vitamins (especially vitamin B6 and folate). Additionally, cashews are packed with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
  2. Healthy fats: While cashew nuts do contain fats, they are primarily composed of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats have been associated with various health benefits, including improved heart health.
  3. Protein content: Cashew nuts provide a moderate amount of protein, making them a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets. They can be a good source of plant-based protein.
  4. Diverse culinary uses: Cashew nuts have a creamy texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. They are used in a wide range of culinary applications, from snacking on them raw or roasted to using them in dishes like curries, stir-fries, salads, and desserts. Cashew butter and cashew milk are also popular alternatives to dairy products.
  5. Health benefits: Consuming cashew nuts in moderation has been linked to various health benefits. They may help lower the risk of heart disease, improve blood sugar control, and support weight management due to their satiating properties.

Common Cashew Nuts Specifications in Nigeria

When it comes to purchasing raw cashew nuts in Nigeria, international buyers should be aware of the common specifications to ensure they acquire high-quality produce. The following are the most frequently encountered specifications for raw cashew nuts that are available for purchase in Nigeria:

  1. Outturn: The outturn of cashew nuts in Nigeria typically falls within the range of 40 to 51. It’s worth noting that the highest outturns, often reaching up to 53, are typically available at the beginning of the harvest season, which usually occurs in February. This period offers international buyers the opportunity to obtain cashew nuts with exceptional outturns.
  2. Nut count: Cashew nuts are typically measured in terms of nut count, and in Nigeria, you can expect a range of 170 to 205 nuts per kilogram.
  3. Moisture content: Cashew nuts should have a moisture content of no more than 10% to meet quality standards. Ensuring low moisture content is crucial to prevent mold and maintain the freshness of the nuts.
  4. Inspection: International buyers often rely on reputable inspection agencies like SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) to verify the quality and compliance of the cashew nuts with international standards. SGS is well-known for its expertise in inspecting and certifying various products, including agricultural commodities like cashew nuts.

How to Safely Source for Your Cashew Produce

  1. Identify reputable suppliers: Begin by identifying reputable cashew nut suppliers in Nigeria. Look for established companies with a track record of providing quality products. You can research suppliers online, attend industry events, or seek recommendations from trusted sources.
  2. Verify quality standards: Ensure that the supplier adheres to international quality standards. Verify if they have the necessary certifications, such as ISO, HACCP, or organic certifications, depending on your requirements. These certifications are indicative of their commitment to quality and safety.
  3. Visit the farm or processing facility: If possible, visit the cashew farms or processing facilities of potential suppliers. This allows you to inspect the production process, assess hygiene standards, and gain firsthand knowledge of the quality of the cashew nuts.
  4. Request samples: Request samples of the cashew nuts you intend to purchase. Thoroughly evaluate the samples for factors such as size, color, texture, and taste. Conducting sensory evaluations can help you ensure that the product meets your specifications.
  5. Inspect packaging and labeling: Examine the packaging and labeling of the cashew nuts. Ensure that they are properly sealed, labeled with accurate information, and comply with international packaging standards. Proper packaging is essential for maintaining product freshness.
  6. Check moisture content: Verify the moisture content of the cashew nuts, as excessive moisture can lead to mold and deterioration. Ensure that the moisture content is within the acceptable range, typically not exceeding 10%.
  7. Conduct quality tests: Consider conducting quality tests on a batch of cashew nuts. Tests may include microbiological analysis, aflatoxin testing, and pesticide residue analysis to ensure product safety.
  8. Negotiate terms and agreements: Once you are satisfied with the quality and safety of the cashew nuts, negotiate terms and agreements with the supplier. Ensure that pricing, payment terms, delivery schedules, and quality assurance measures are clearly defined in the contract.
  9. Consider third-party inspection: Employ the services of third-party inspection agencies to conduct quality checks and inspections. This provides an unbiased assessment of the product’s quality and compliance with standards.
  10. Stay informed on market trends: Keep yourself informed about market trends, pricing, and demand for cashew nuts. This knowledge will help you make informed sourcing decisions and stay competitive in the market.

How to Export Cashew Nuts from Nigeria

Exporting cashew nuts from Nigeria can be a lucrative venture due to the country’s reputation for high-quality cashews. To successfully export cashew nuts from Nigeria, you need to follow a well-structured process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to export cashew nuts:

Business Registration and Regulatory Compliance

Initiate the business registration process and ensure strict compliance with Nigerian regulatory requirements. Obtain all necessary licenses and permits for the exportation of agricultural commodities like cashew nuts.

Explore potential export incentives and benefits offered by the Nigerian government or trade bodies, such as tax benefits and financial support.

Quality Assurance

Prioritize adherence to stringent international quality standards for cashew nuts, including factors such as outturn, nut count, moisture content, and the absence of contaminants.

Build relationships with reliable cashew nut suppliers or farmers within Nigeria. Establishing a consistent and quality-focused supply chain is essential to ensuring a steady flow of raw materials.

Consider engaging reputable inspection agencies renowned for certifying the quality of your cashew nuts, enhancing the credibility of your product.

Packaging and labeling

Invest in top-notch packaging materials that preserve cashew nut freshness during transit and shield them from environmental factors. Ensure precision in labeling, including comprehensive product details, precise weights, and batch numbers on packaging materials, adhering to international packaging standards.

Efficient Logistics and Transportation

Engage reliable transportation and logistics partners capable of efficiently transporting your cashew nuts to the designated export port. Choose between sea and air freight based on destination and budget considerations.

Prepare an intricate set of export documents, encompassing the bill of lading, commercial invoice, certificate of origin, phytosanitary certificate, and any permits mandated by both Nigerian export regulations and the import requirements of target countries.

Implement risk mitigation strategies during transportation, including real-time monitoring of cargo condition and location, and ensure comprehensive insurance coverage.

Seamless Customs Clearance

Collaborate with experienced customs brokers proficient in navigating customs clearance procedures at the export port. Meticulous documentation is crucial to prevent potential delays and ensure a smooth transition.

Export Inspection and Certification for Credibility

Employ third-party inspection agencies to conduct rigorous quality assessments and certify your cashew nuts’ conformity to international standards. Their impartial evaluations enhance the credibility of your product.

Market Entry Strategies and Promotion

Collaborate with local partners or distributors at the destination port to streamline market entry and distribution processes. Adhere to import regulations and customs procedures, cultivating relationships with potential buyers to foster market penetration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Which countries does Nigeria export cashew nuts to? Nigeria exports cashew nuts to a wide range of countries, including but not limited to Vietnam, India, China, the United States, and several European nations. The export destinations may vary based on market demand and trade agreements.

2. How much is a ton of cashew nuts in Nigeria? The price of a ton of cashew nuts in Nigeria can fluctuate based on factors such as quality, market demand, and the international market price. As of [current year], the average price per ton ranges from [price range] Nigerian Naira.

3. How profitable is cashew nut export? Cashew nut exports can be a highly profitable venture, given Nigeria’s reputation for producing high-quality cashews. Profitability depends on various factors, including market conditions, quality control, and operational efficiency. With proper planning and adherence to industry standards, cashew nut exports can yield substantial profits.

4. How are cashew nuts exported? Cashew nuts are typically exported through a well-structured process that includes sourcing, quality control, packaging, documentation, logistics, and market entry. The export process involves complying with export regulations and international standards to ensure the safe and timely delivery of the product to international markets.

5. How do I start my own cashew business? Starting a cashew business in Nigeria involves several key steps, including business registration, market research, sourcing suppliers, quality control, logistics, and market entry. It is advisable to seek guidance and training from industry experts or programs like to navigate the complexities successfully.

6. How do I get buyers for export from Nigeria? Finding international buyers for your cashew nuts requires proactive marketing and networking efforts. You can attend trade shows, join export associations, utilize online marketplaces, and leverage your network to connect with potential buyers. Additionally, can assist in connecting you with buyers through its export management services.


How To Get Nigeria Certificate of Origin For Exports

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