TANZANIA – EXIM Bank Tanzania has pledged to support cashew farmers in Mtwara, Tanzania with US$87,328.00 investment meant to enhance productivity in the industry during 2018 season.

According to Daily News, the move is geared towards improving the livelihoods of farmers given that the sector has witnessed significant growth in production and sale prices.

The bank is working with farmers in collaboration with the Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS), a platform that supports farmers with production, processing, transporting and marketing of various cash crops including cashew.

EXIM’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Jafari Matundu said the bank has been supporting cashew nut farmers and exporters for many years by providing seamless financial services.

“We have had a presence in Mtwara for many years now supporting farmers and exporters by providing them with innovative financial products and services to support and grow their businesses.”

The initiative is critical to farmers who need finances during harvesting stage for buying bags, paying labourers until the product finds buyers.

“With the increase in export and sale prices we saw fit to increase our loan portfolio to enable farmers increase production and quality of their products and therefore increase their earnings through their sales,” Mr Matundu said.

The bank decided to invest in Mtwara to support cashew farmers because it is

an important segment in the agricultural portfolio in Tanzania.

Tanzania, one of the largest cashewnut producers in Africa exports over 350,000 tonnes of raw cashews, which is an increase of almost 100% from previous years.

Recently cashewnut farmers in Mtwara laid down their tools on lower prices offered to them by middlemen.

The farmers argued that the prevailing auction prices were lower to cover their production costs.

“It is true that the farmers have refused to sell their commodity at the prevailing auction prices saying they were lower to cover their production costs,” said Tandahimba District Commissioner, Sebastian Waryuba.