Cashew farmers in Tanzania’s Lindi, Mtwara and Ruvuma have so far pocketed a total of nearly US $2.2Bn. This is the accumulated price since the government started buying the precious food commodity.
Media reports have it that the amount was recorded after 130,111 kilograms of cashew nuts were bought through the Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank (TADB). Moreover, this is slightly over half of the available stock this season. In a press release from the government, it has projected a total of 220,000 tonnes from both warehouses and households.
According to Mtwara regional commissioner Gelisius Byanakwa, all paid cashew stocks are those collected from three regions. He further expressed his confidence that all stocks will be purchased by 100 per cent. The regional commissioner was presenting to the public a report on the special cashew marketing exercise launched by the government. This is after private buyers offered farmers low prices, which were not proportional to the cost of production and real market prices.
Mr. Byanakwa said the government is ensuring that all stocks are bought from cooperatives and farmers warehouses to save the crop from imminent rains.
The government ordered the buyers to pay a cashew nuts grower Sh3,300 per kilogram and President John Magufuli has directed the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) to collect all bought cashew nuts to special warehouses ready for processing. A big chunk of the collected cashew is expected to be processed by the National Service Brigade of the TPDF.
Mr Byanakwa reported that the growers were paid Sh3,300 as directed by the President and that an appraisal exercise was going on in 83 cooperatives where cashew nuts were bought from peasants in the three regions.