The government of Tanzania has purchased 134,535 tonnes of cashew nuts valued at US $183m from farmers. The Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omar Mgumba said the money was paid directly to the account numbers of cashew farmers.
The funds were disbursed by the Cereals and other Produce Board of Tanzania (CPB), a business oriented institution that aims at profit making with its capital sourced from the government’s subsidies and loans from financial institutions.
According to the deputy minister, the cashew nuts buying is expected to reach its climax come mid this month. Mr Mgumba explained that so far 390,000 farmers have been paid and that 603 cooperative unions had received payment. This is from the 605 that had been verified by his ministry.
Meanwhile, a local MP Cecil Mwambe (CHADEMA) expressed his dismay over less payment that was being disbursed to farmers. This, he said, was against President John Magufuli’s directive that every kilogramme of cashew nuts be purchased at 3,300/- (US $1.42 ). According to him, some farmers were receiving a lesser amount of up to 2,600/-(US $1.12).
The deputy minister clarified that standard grade of cashew nuts was being purchased at a fixed price of 3,300/- while under grade cashew nuts were bought at 2,640. This, he said, was 80% of an indicative price.