Mr Christopher Nwame, the Director of Enugu State Agricultural Services, warned cashew farmers and sellers against the harvest and sale of unripe cashew nuts in the state.
Nwame gave the warning in an interview with News men in Enugu.
He said that the practice had reduced the foreign exchange earnings of Enugu State because cashew was one of the export crops of the state.
He also noted that some unscrupulous residents were fond of illegally harvesting immature cashew fruits from other people’s plantations at night.
He stressed that the ambition of the state government and cashew farmers was to generate more and steady foreign exchange earnings from the crop.
Nwame said that the profitability of the cashew business in the international market was on the increase, adding that there was high demand for cashew by foreign countries.
“Now that the demand for cashew is high in the international market; its supply should also be jacked up by stepping up production,” he said.
The director called on interested youths and other farmers to take to cashew planting, while availing themselves of the improved cashew seedlings in stock.
He said that the fleshy part of cashew could be used to produce fruit juice or wine, while vegetable oil and aviation fuel could be derived from cashew nuts.