Raw cashew nuts

The move could also double jobs for locals here from the current 2,000 to 4,000 at Likombe Factory in Mtwara municipality. The company’s Human Resources Manager Mr Gilbert Hagila and Zonal Accountant Charles Ernest told the ‘Sunday News’ this week here that they had already bought six units of cutting machines from Vietnam for trials.

Mr Hagila said after trials more units of cutting machines would be purchased to commence production as soon as possible. “We are determined to expand our operations because this is the only way we can create more jobs and add value to our local products instead of exporting raw cashew,” Mr Hagila said.

Hagila noted that the new machines would facilitate workers to do their work faster and even bring back to work aged women who before could not cope with manual style. Currently workers use a manual system to accomplish their task.

According to Mr Ernest, apart from the jobs that are created at Likombe factory, Olam has created other 10 satellite units in rural areas whereby farmers are given manual machines and training to process the crop. “We give them machines then after processing we buy it from them.

That way farmers are assured of the market for their crop and more jobs are created,” said Ernest. The units are in Mikindani, Naliendele, Tangazo, Madimba, Masasi, Nachingwea, Newala, Tandahimba, Luangwa and Lindi. He said already 1,200 men and women were at the time involved in the units and the aim is to increase to 2,800 people this month (April).

Ernest said in order for Tanzania to beat the current crisis of lack of market for raw cashews in the world markets, farmers, primary cooperatives societies should be empowered to process it and sell to big processors such as Olam. He said since India, the major processors in the world, only need 20 per cent of cashews from outside it may reach a point when the country may not need raw cashew from Tanzania any more.

“But if we can process our produce we can sell it elsewhere in the world. We are lucky that our cashew nut is the best in the world,” he noted. Ernest noted that the danger of relying too much on India is that it will reach a point where they will dictate the price and Tanzania will have no choice but sell even at loss.

By FARAJA MGWABATI, Tanzania Daily News

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