TANZANIA – The Tanzanian government has reiterated that no company will be allowed to export unprocessed cashew nuts from the country in a bid to protect the local manufacturers, processors and farmers, reports The Citizen.

Recently,attempts by companies to export unprocessed cashew nuts hit a dead end after the government blocked export of the produce and is seeking to improve the cashew nut industry by partnering with other firms to open processing plants in the country.

This comes as the President’s directive mandating the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces to oversee the management of cashew nuts to protect farmers from exploitation.

President Magufuli ordered that all cashew nuts be sold at US$1.43 (Tshs 3300) per kilo, adding that all cashews be processed locally to protect the local market and increase employment opportunities.

Japhet Hasunga, the Minister of Agriculture in the country said that only four companies have so far been licensed and permitted to buy and export cashew nuts in the country.

“I have received phone calls from people saying that their cashew nut export cargo has been blocked at the port, no company is allowed to export unprocessed cashew nuts.

We have all the data, even for those who had bought the cashews during the last season,” said the minister.

Currently, only eight out of 23 processing plants carry out cashew nuts processing operations in the country.

The government is also seeking deliberations with other stakeholders and owners of the cashew nuts processing companies to see that the industry flourish.

According to the minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, traders will only be allowed to buy cashew nuts directly from farmers only if they strike a deal with the government.

Efforts by the government to see the industry thrive seems promising especially after the Chinese envoy in the country promised to set up a cashew nut processing factory.

The government through the ministry of agriculture has so far purchased over 10,000 million kilograms of cashew nuts worth over US$15.4 million.