Tanzanian government mulls over processing of cashew nuts


The government of Tanzania said on Tuesday it has two alternatives in terms of processing raw cashew nuts, a top cash crop in the East African country, in order to boost value addition.

Japhet Hasunga, the east African nation’s Minister for Agriculture, said: “We basically have two alternatives … First we are going to look into local capacity to process the raw cashew nuts.”

“But if our capacity falls short, we are going to look for a contractor outside the country to do the cashew processing work for us and we will take our kernel (processed nut),” he added.

Like elsewhere in Africa, Tanzania has traditionally been exporting nearly all its raw cashew crop to Asia cheaply and has in turn been importing processed cashew at costly prices.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced last month that the government has handed over Bucco Limited, a cashew nuts processing factory in Lindi region, to the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) after the plant was repossessed by the Treasury Registrar due to the failure of the erstwhile privatized factory to develop the industry.

Magufuli ordered the army to process all the raw cashew nuts being purchased from farmers at the Bucco Ltd factory so Tanzania can add value to its raw materials and boost its export revenues.

Tanzania earned close to 542 million U.S. dollars from cashew nut exports last year, which is double the 271 million U.S. dollars fetched by the country’s number one cash crop in 2016, due to both an increase in production and higher prices at the world market. Enditem 

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