The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) on Saturday urged the Indian Government to reverse the 9.36 per cent import duty, imposed on raw cashew nuts (RCN).

NCAN’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Sotonye Anga, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the country’s bilateral relationship with Nigeria should be considered.

Anga said that India was heavily dependent on Nigeria’s raw cashew export, to run over 2,000 cashew factories.

“Much as we cannot decide for the Indian Government, we will request the Government of India to have a rethink, reconsider and completely withdraw this duty of 9.36 per cent imposed on raw cashew nuts.

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“This appeal has become necessary in the interest of India’s bilateral relationship with Nigeria and Africa.

“Cashew processors in India are dependent on raw cashew nuts import from Nigeria and Africa, to run over 2,000 cashew factories.

“Over 40 per cent of the world’s 2,100,000 tons of raw cashew nuts come from African countries namely Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Ghana, Benin Republic, Mali, Gambia, and Burkina Faso.

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“On a serious note, a duty of 9.36 per cent may mean shutting down India’s cashew processors, as high cost of raw material will weaken Indian cashew processors,’’ he said.

The publicist said that the bilateral relationship in raw cashew spanned over two decades, benefiting both economies.

Anga urged the Indian government to completely withdraw the 9.36 per cent duty on raw cashew nut import, “until India is able to produce enough RCN, to meet the needs of their processors.

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“Going forward, I see this development as a very serious issue and we will discuss it with our government and take appropriate steps, to protect Nigeria’s cashew farmers and production,’’ Anga said.

NAN reports that the Indian Government, in its 2016 budget, announced earlier in the week that it had imposed a tax on raw cashew nuts import to India. (NAN)

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