TANZANIA – Yalin International, a Chinese firm, has unveiled plans of investing US$1.48 million (Tshs3.4bn) in setting up a new cashew nut processing plant in Tanzania.

According to a report by Ipp Media, the plant will have a capacity of processing 27 metric tons of cashew nuts per day targeting to export the products to China and other international markets.

Sulaiman Millanzi, the general manager at Yalin revealed that the factory will be located on about 6,400 acres of land in Mtwara region.

“We are on schedule to start operations if we get a few utilities in place such as water and electricity,” Millanzi said adding that phase one of the plant will employ 250 people.

According to Millanzi the first phase will see installation and operation of processing machines with a capacity of 6,000 metric tons per annum and will process and roast the nuts.

He said construction work of the plant that officially started last year is at final stages which upon completion will see “people work in various sections of the factory after getting training relating to their job description.”

“The demand is very huge for cashew nut products in the global market including China and Asia hence our decision to invest in the factory,” Millanzi further highlighted.

China as a major global market for the commodity has minimal cashew nut production hence relies on imports mainly from Africa to sustain its huge network of cashew-nuts processing factories.

The company also plans to utilise cashew-nut husks in the production of various products such as snacks, oils and protein flour that will be sold both in the local and international markets.

In the recent past, the Tanzanian government has embarked on efforts aimed at rejuvenating the multi-million sector by encouraging local processing and optimal production by farmers.

The government has also unveiled plans of repossessing all cashew nut processing industries, which were privatised a decade ago if their owners fail to develop the factories.

The Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade) has also invited bids for bulk purchase of 220,000 tonnes of raw cashews and 240 tonnes of processed nuts from interested parties in a move that seeks to formalise the sector.