To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

May 29, 2011

Tanzania seeks to revamp cashew nut sector

by Leonard Magomba

Tanzania is seeking to revamp its defunct cashew nut processing factories to boost production of the crop which brought home $133 million in the year ending February 2011.

Government will also construct more factories, said Hemedi Mkali, the acting Chairman of Tanzania Cashewnut Board (CBT). Most of the former factories that were privatised are not functional in what could be hurting productivity of the sector.

Tanzania’s earnings from cashew nut exports went up 208 per cent during the year ending February 2011, the Bank of Tanzania said in its March 2011 “Monthly Economic Review,” bringing a ray of hope to some 500,000 Tanzanians who engage in small-scale cashew nut farming.

The volume of cashew nut exports went up by 106.9 per cent from 60,300 tonnes to 124,800 tonnes.

“Farmers can no longer export all their nuts, forcing them to sale at low prices. Through value addition, Tanzania will be able to reduce the amount of raw cashew nuts exported and also fetch higher prices,” said Mr Mkali.

Tanzania is Africa’s largest cashew nut grower after Nigeria and Ivory Coast, and the world’s eighth biggest producer. Tanzania’s cashew industry generates at least five per cent of the country’s export earnings.

This is the first time in about four years that production of the nuts has increased. Production has been on the decline since 2007, due to the ageing of the cashew nut trees, a reason given by the Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives ministry.

Beno Mahagama, director general of CBT said the revival of the factories and better global nut prices could improve earnings from the crop further.

Tandahimba district in Mtwara was the leading producer during the season. Regions known for cashewnut growing include Mtwara, Lindi, Coast, Ruvuma and Dar es Salaam. Production in Coast region has, however, been dwindling over the years as farmers seem to lose interest in the crop.

According to the Africa cashewnut dossier, Africa’s production share in the world stands at 30 per cent; world production currently stands at close to 1.2 million tonnes.

Following nationalisation of the cashew sector in the 1970s and investment in large-scale production plants utilising inefficient technology in the 1980s, the industry has experienced troubled times.

Analysts say a viable processing industry could create 30,000 direct jobs and generate $40 million in incremental processing revenues annually.

Africa was producing 70 per cent of world cashew nuts between 1950 and 1970, but problems in the industry that during the time led to India’s take over of the position.

The East African

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP