The government of Tanzania has bought 215,000 tonnes of cashew nuts from growers worth 306 million U.S. dollars until January 30, 2019, a senior official told the National Assembly on Monday.

Omary Mgumba, the east African nation’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture, said the country’s cashew nuts production projection for the 2018/2019 farming season was more than 240,000 tonnes of raw cashew.

Last week, Mgumba told the House in the capital Dodoma that the government was now holding talks with international buyers of the cash crop.

He was responding to a question raised by Mtwara Urban Member of Parliament Maftaha Nachuma who had wanted to know why the government was buying the cash crop at a snail’s pace.

Mgumba said: “The government is in talks with international buyers and we will soon be able to sell 200,000 tonnes to markets across the world.”

The minister admitted that the farmers were facing challenges, including price instability in the global market due to lack of value addition to their products as well as inadequate use of agricultural inputs and poor storage.

“To address these challenges, the government is doing all in its capacity to strengthen the crop’s value chain, increase distribution of agricultural inputs and provide education on value addition,” said Mgumba.

Last week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure they concluded the ongoing cashew nuts verification exercise and paid bona fide farmers their dues by Feb. 5, 2019.

On Nov. 12, last year, President John Magufuli had said that his government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers at a flat price of 3,300 Tanzanian shillings per kilogram.

The decision was reached after the government issued a four-day ultimatum to traders to buy cashew nuts.

This was after cashew nuts farmers had rejected prices offered by private dealers, which were very much lower than the previous harvest season’s prices. Enditem


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