TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania has announced that it will hold a cashew nuts forum in a bid to explore investment opportunities presented in the value chain.

Backed by President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli and the Tanzania Investment Centre, the forum will be held in Mtwara, south eastern region from July 12 – 13, 2019.

According to a statement issued by the Tanzania Investment Centre, the forum “aims to attract potential investors from outside Tanzania as well as domestic investors interested in establishing cashew nuts processing projects as well as industrial parks in Tanzania and more specifically in Lindi and Mtwara regions.”

The government has set aside a total of 538,993 hectares of land in these regions for agricultural expansion and industrial development and is also seeking investors to set up industrial parks and develop cashew nut processing industrial zones.

The forum is set to attract major stakeholders in the value chain including senior government officials as well as nationally and internationally acknowledged speakers.

Business investment institutions operating in the cashew nuts sub-sector will showcase opportunities in across the sector running from farming, processing and establishment of infrastructure.

The major areas of focus will include, investing into new cashew farming, value addition through processing, as well as construction of industrial parks and development of cashew processing industrial zones, among others.

The forum seeks to identify and capitalise on business opportunities in the sector as well as catalysing growth in the value chain through stimulating partnerships between local economic operators and international private investors.

In the recent past, the multimillion dollar sector has continually attracted investors form the international market to set up operations in the country.

Notabely, Yalin International, a Chinese firm, in April this year unveiled plans of investing US$1.48 million (Tshs3.4bn) in setting up a new cashew nut processing plant in the country with capacity of processing 27 metric tons per day targeting to export the products to China and other international market.

Tanzania counts among the World’s largest producer of raw cashew nuts with a current production of about 300 000 metric tonnes per year despite its potential to reach an annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes.

During 2017/18, the East African country realized a total production of 313,826 Metric Tons and accounts for 75% of the total production in East Africa.

Being a net cashew nut exporter, the country’s total cashew nut sales on the international market reached US$196.5 million in the previous year.

However, about 90% of cashew nuts exported in their raw form owing to the country’s low processing capacity.