Published on 25 Dec 2023

Singapore trader Valency to expand cashew operations in Nigeria

Only 16% of Nigeria's cashew exports undergoes processing

Singapore-headquartered Valency International, a commodity trading house, is bolstering its cashew nut processing and warehouse infrastructure in Nigeria. The expansion is supported by a US$15m equity investment commitment in the firm by the British International Investment (BII).

Valency procures cashew nuts directly from Nigerian farmers and processes them at its factory in the south-western province of Ogun State. The processed cashew kernels are then distributed in bulk to markets across the world. Valency markets sprouted cashews under the brand ‘With Love Gretel’.

Last year, Nigeria exported 315,677 tonnes of raw cashew kernels, placing it among the top five exporters in Africa. Yet it lagged behind Côte d'Ivoire which produces approximately 1m tonnes annually. Although Nigerian cashew exports constituted over 5% of its non-oil export revenue, it is widely acknowledged that the industry has yet to fully realise its potential. Only about 16% of cashew output is exported in a processed form. The challenges facing the cashew sector include non-compliance with food safety standards, lack of product traceability, low yield per hectare, substandard farming practices, and aging trees.

Nigeria also possesses potential to boost its exports of organic certified cashew nuts, which can command premium prices in international markets. Earlier this year, Valency collaborated with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and various private sector entities to initiate the Organic Cashew Certification Programme for Export, which seeks to boost organic cashew production.

In 2022, Nigeria shipped most of its unshelled cashew nuts to Vietnam, a dominant player in cashew processing, realising export values of about US$157m. Significant exports also headed to India and the United States, with values of US$86m and US$65m, respectively. For shelled cashews, Vietnam was the leading import destination, accounting for approximately US$50m in Nigerian exports, followed by India with US$23m.

In addition to cashews, Valency is involved in sourcing sesame seeds, cocoa, and ginger from Nigeria. It also distributes products such as paper, steel, custard powder and agro-chemicals in the West African country.



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