NEBBI. The Nebbi district chairman Mr Emanuel Orombi has told the district production department to go slow on promoting the growth of cashew nuts in the district.
He said cashew nut is one seedling which cannot benefit the people and has been regarded as useless crop adding that many cashew nut trees in the district are seen as normal trees which don’t add value to people’s livelihoods.
“In my engagement with the people they never demanded cashew nut, I wonder why the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) secretariat thought it wise to bring the seedlings and promote it here in the district”, Orombi said.
But the Nebbi district production officer Mr Livinus Nyakuni said the seedlings that were received from NAADS secretariat are to be distributed to only interested farmers who will establish cashew nut demonstration gardens that will help in the development of the cashew nuts value chain.
“We are not forcing anybody to plant the seedlings, only those who were interested in venturing into cashew nut growing received the seedling and they are our lead farmers”, he noted.
He said NAADs secretariat and ministry of agriculture in collaboration with Uganda National Cashew nut farmers and promoter’s association, identified the importance of revamping cashew nut production in selected districts which included Nebbi with the aim of ensuring that there is a sustainable improvement of household food security since the market will be readily available.
Lt Col Lawrence Kermundu the coordinator of Operation Wealth creation said the crop was only introduced to few farmers who were willing to grow it but not forced on them.
He said cashew nut growing is being promoted due to the demand in the neighbouring countries like Tanzania and Kenya.
He added that for the past years, the government under Operation Wealth Creation has been focusing on increasing access to critical quality of agricultural inputs for farmers to help boost their agricultural productivity in order to fight poverty at the household level.
The district has so far distributed a total of 1625 Cashew nut seedling to a section of selected farmers in a bid to revamp cashew nut production in the district.
The cashew tree is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple. It can grow as high as 14 m, but the dwarf cashew, growing up to 6 m, has proved more profitable, with earlier maturity of up to three years and higher yields.
Its nut, also known as cashew, is commonly eaten as food. People also use the nut to make medicine. Cashew is used for stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal) ailments. Some people apply cashew directly to the skin as a skin stimulant and to seal (cauterize) ulcers, warts, and corns.