The Tanzanian government has disbursed US $434,687 to verified cashew farmers. The Agriculture minister Japhet Hasunga said that at least 2,168 cashew farmers from 35 verified primary societies have so far been paid their cash.
Mr Hasunga made the comments when addressing journalists about the progress made in buying cashews from farmers under an operation run by the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF). He further added that the payment process was still going on in different parts including Tunduru District in Ruvuma Region.This, he said, is towards ensuring that farmers get what is rightfully theirs.
The minister also reassured Mtwara residents, who were carrying cashews, that their jobs were secured and that they should not worry about the coming of TPDF soldiers. He explained that among the duties to be carried out the TPDF is overseeing the process of taking cashews from main cooperative societies into warehouses. He however added that the work of unloading and carrying the cashews into warehouses would strictly be carried out by civilians.
Meanwhile, earlier on last week at least 20 tonnes of cashews, which were in the Olam warehouse, were impounded while being ferried illegally to the Mnyawi Primary Society. Following this, the minister vowed that no cashews from outside the country would be given a chance in the country. This, he said, is because the market was already saturated as it is. The minister warned that anyone caught smuggling in cashews would be faced with legal action.
TPDF’s Lieutenant General Mohammed, who was also present at the press conference said he went to Lindi Region for inspection purposes. He further added that he would look into the various cashew processing plants to see how his force would implement the operation.