Following are the details of the news:

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) appears to be forging ahead and taking its raw materials import substitution and deletion programme to another level, when it commissioned a high grade Cashew Nut Shell Liquid Processing plant, built in collaboration with the Kogi State University (KSU), the project host, on Saturday, January, 2022.

The project was built to promote the development and utilization of secondary raw materials which can serve as inputs for industrial manufacturing of paints, resins, shoe polish, brake fluid among other industrial products.

Giving a keynote address, The Director General (RMRDC), Professor Hussaini Doko Ibrahim who was represented at the event by the RMRDC Director of Planning and Policy, Dr Bola Olugbemi, said the CNSL plant establishment was aimed at promoting the development of strategic secondary raw materials to add fillip to the government’s economic diversification agenda whilst boosting the value chain potentials of Cashew as a versatile cash crop in Nigeria.

Dr Olugbemi in espousing the scope of the project, disclosed that the CNSL plant, was the first plant to be established by the Council, and was a collaboration between RMRDC and KSU on CNSL since 2009. He stated further that the project when fully operational, will serve as catalyst for rapid and competitive expansion of activities in cashew production, development and utilization as well as build techno-entrepreneurship capabilities among the operators in the industry in the state and the country as a whole.

‘We are hoping that cashew production, processing and utilization activities especially in the area of Cashew Nut Shell Liquid production in Kogi state and Nigeria as a whole will be boosted by the CNSL Plant. We are also looking at further building the capacities of the operators for business of cashew value addition and trade. We see the Cashew sub sector as a huge source of revenue which if properly harnessed will create jobs and power the economic potentials of the state.’ he said.

Dr Olugbemi further explained that the Federal Gov’t has committed to assigning 0.5% of the country’s GDP to R&D, and as a result, RMRDC was given the responsibility to coordinate the review of old Science and Technology policy in Nigeria on how they can improve on 0.5% of R&D to the GDP by the Honourable minister Federal Ministry Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.

He said the Council was in the process of executing this responsibility and was committed to helping the Ministry achieve its mandate of improving the share of manufacturing in the economy though implementations of policy and value chain development in the area of agriculture and manufacturing.

He said the council is pleased to see some of the products the university have developed from the cashew through research.

“The council also extend this initiative using the same model of KSU to other universities such as federal university of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State & Abia state university, Uturu, Abia State.

“RMRDC decided to go further than just having a Cashew Nut by way of introducing Cashew Nut Shell Liquid processing plant for industrial use. He stated that Nigeria is still importing CNSL because of its usefulness in the painting industry, Pharmaceutical & chemical industries. So the council felt there is a need to do more research in to other products of cashew to reduce the importation”

Speaking on the impact and sustainability of the project, Dr Olugbemi urged the Kogi State University, Anyigba not to relent in their efforts at developing products from its numerous research and development programs for which the Council is willing to enter into further collaborate with the University.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor Kogi State University, Prof. Marietu O. Tenuche assured the Council of the University’s commitment, saying that since 2009 the University has been making efforts in developing the Cashew Value chain because the commitment of RMRDC for development and utilization of CNSL has been very supportive to the research component and other activities of the University.

Earlier, the project coordinator Dr. Ogbadu Andrew Ochali who is the Business development manager, Kogi State University ventures limited, said the idea behind the establishment of the project is to promote the value addition in cashew production, create employment and to develop our own raw material research within the Country.

Ocholi stated that most of our products are being exported out in raw form and thereby lose a lot of values apart from job creation and the capital retention in the Country. He noted that Nigeria produces lots of cashew which shell is thrown a way as a waste product after consumption, saying the KSU is working hard in collaboration with RMRDC to convert this waste to good use.

He therefore, urged the cashew farmers to embrace a good farming product handling especially post-harvest handling, to maintain their farms and do a proper fire tracing to avert fire outbreak in the farm.

The farmers should embrace the improved varieties of seedlings to be able to achieve a bumper harvest for industrial use, Ocholi added.

While commissioning the project, His Excellency, the Governor of Kogi State Alh. Yahaya acknowledged the efforts of the RMRDC in augmenting the research activities of the University.