Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the Ministry of Finance and Planning to release 40 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 17.4 million U.S. dollars) for payment of arrears to cashew nuts farmers.

A statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said the arrears were for cashew nuts bought by the government in the 2018-2019 season.

He made the order at a meeting with top officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, district and regional leaders from cashew nuts growing regions and institutions dealing with the purchase of the cash crop, said the statement.

“The president ordered the Ministry of Finance to make sure that the money is released by Nov. 2,” said the statement, adding that Magufuli also directed district and regional leaders in cashew nuts growing areas to ensure that the farmers were paid promptly.

The statement said Magufuli expressed disappointment over poor performance of the Ministry of Agriculture and leaders in regions growing cashew nuts for allowing Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) to misappropriate funds earmarked for paying farmers.

Magufuli said he was disheartened by a report compiled within a short time by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau that revealed the misappropriation of about 1.23 billion shillings by AMCOS that was released by the government to pay farmers in southern regions of Mtwara and Lindi.

He also directed responsible authorities to oversee the newly launched cashew nuts auctions for 2019-2020 season to ensure that the auctions were conducted in a transparent manner. Enditem


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