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August 10, 2011

Tanzania cashewnut farmers demand revival of processing plants

by Felix Andrew

The government has been urged to restore the non-operating cashew nut plants so as to increase the percentage of processed exports of the crop. At present, more than 70 per cent of cashew nuts grown mostly in the country’s coastal regions is exported in raw form.

Farmer Musa Ndunduma said that all the government owned plants are lying idle due to the country’s privatisation policy.

Tanzania’s earnings from cashew nut exports went up 208 per cent in February, the Bank of Tanzania said in its March 2011 ‘Monthly Economic Review,’ bringing a ray of hope to thousands of Tanzanians who engage in small-scale cashew nut farming. During the same period, the volume of cashew nut exports went up by 106.9 per cent from 60,300 tonnes to 124,800 tonnes.The success is attributed to good weather and sufficient rains in the last year's season.

Experts say a viable processing industry could create 30,000 direct jobs and generate USD40 million in incremental processing revenues annually.

Tanzania's cashew industry generates 5 per cent of the country's export earnings - approximately USD70m annually - from raw cashew nut exports.

IPP Media

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