TANZANIA – The Tanzanian Government is implementing a sustainable cashew nuts processing strategy that aims to add value to the crop through the establishment of an industrial park.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed the plan while addressing Mtwara residents at Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium on her first day of tour of the Mtwara Region.
According to the latest reports from the Cashewnuts Board of Tanzania (CBT), the industrial park, which is estimated to cost US$116 million, will be built in Nanyamba District, Mtwara Region in an area covering 1,500 hectares.
The park will accommodate factories with a total processing capacity of 300,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts annually, she revealed
The Head of the State said in the next two years the country will no longer be exporting raw cashew nuts because the government is working on a plan to construct cashew nut processing plants.
This comes when the country is targeting to export processed cashew nuts by 2026/27 instead of transporting raw cashew nuts outside the country
Tanzania produced 400,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts in the 2022/2023 period, but CBT plans to increase production of the crop to 700,000 metric tonnes in 2025/2026, with the country targeting to process 60 percent of produced cashew nuts by 2025/2026.
Dr. Samia said that the move will help the authorities to have accurate data on cashew nut production and its markets.
To bolster the cashew operations, Dr. Suluhu directed Mtwara regional authorities to make sure that Mtwara Port is fully utilized to attain the expected outcomes.
She said that the major improvements at Mtwara Port were meant to increase efficiency in the transportation of goods.
“The government has not improved the port to facelift Mtwara Region rather it was constructed to facilitate the movement of goods, especially crops and people … we intend to make further improvements to increase efficiency,” Dr Samia insisted.
She noted that currently, crops that are being transported through the port are chickpeas and coal, querying why cashew nuts were not transported through the country’s second water gateway.
The President therefore directed Mtwara Regional Commissioner Colonel Ahmed Abbas Ahmed and the Police Force to make sure that people wishing to transport cashew nuts overland are provided with special permits from the RC.