Tanzanian government pays US$225.6m to cashew nut farmers

TANZANIA – The Tanzanian government has so far released US$225.6 million for the purchase of more than 134 000 tonnes of cashew nuts from farmers, reports Daily News.

According to Omar Mgumba, Deputy Minister for Agriculture the government paid the money directly to farmers’ accounts through the Cereals and other Produce Board of Tanzania (CPB).

Mr Mgumba said so far 390,000 farmers have been paid and that 603 cooperative unions had received payment out of 605 that had been verified by his ministry.

The deputy minister said standard grade of cashew nuts was being purchased at an indicative price of 3,300/- while under grade cashew nuts were bought at 2,640 which was 80% of an indicative price.

The Premier said at least US$304.77 million had been allocated for purchasing 214,269.7 tonnes of cashew nuts.

The Tanzanian government has also announced an extension period for the verification and payment of the farmers and traders to February 15, 2019.

This comes at a time when the government entered into an agreement with a Kenyan firm, Indo Power Solutions Ltd for the purchase 100,000 tonnes of cashew nuts valued at $180.2 million.

Tanzania produced about 240,000 tonnes of cashew nuts during the 2017/2018 season, of which the government bought 213,000 tonnes.

Industry and Trade Minister Joseph Kakunda, said that there are another 113,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in warehouses and the government was negotiating with 18 potential buyers.

This is despite the government decision to block the export unprocessed cashew nuts from the country in a bid to protect the local manufacturers, processors and farmers last year.

Earlier this year Tanzania Government unveiled plans of selling 200,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in its warehouses was therefore, seeking bulk international markets for the commodity.

CPB is a business oriented institution that aims at profit making with its capital sourced from the government’s subsidies and loans from financial institutions like Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), NMB and CRDB.

According to Bank of Tanzania, the subsector brought in $340.9 million in foreign exchange in 2017 — superseding earnings from coffee, cotton, tea, cloves and sisal combined at $270 million.

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