TANZANIA – Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) has called on cashew nut cooperatives to invest in the cash crop’s processing for value addition and better market prices, reports Daily News.

Cooperatives were encouraged to prepare a business plan that would help in value addition to the crop by building more warehouses and processing factories to tap on profits missed by selling raw cashew.

“TADB is ready to facilitate the establishment of cashew nut processing factories in the country by giving out loans to cooperatives willing to do so.

The major objective here is to make sure that the farmer has a reliable market,” said Managing Director TADB, Japhet Justine.

“The capacity of establishing such factories is within the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) who has the experts and technologies.”

He called on cooperatives to form a company that will have shareholders who will cooperate with TADB to find loans for construction of processing factories.

“The fifth phase government has an intention of helping and supporting small holder farmers and as a bank we are committed in making sure that this objective is achieved,” he said.

According to him, the country has a capacity of producing more than 200,000 tonnes and with value addition, the contribution to economy will go up and farmers’ welfare and motivation will be boosted.

“Improvement in the cashew marketing price will lead in to rise in the farmers’ standards of living and the country’s economy in general,” he said.

His recommendation comes soon after the government decided to buy cashew nut stocks from farmers following a pricing stand-off with the buyers.

Tanzania’s President Magufuli directed TADB to release money for buying the commodity, leaving traders and dealers in a predicament.

This was after global cashew prices were said to have declined by almost half since March 2017, leaving even the world’s largest exporters in losses.

Ivory Coast for example saw a slowdown on demand for its produce, especially after consumers in the United States and Saudi Arabia objected to high prices.