TANZANIA – Tanzania is targeting to export processed cashews by 2026/27 instead of transporting raw cashew nuts outside the country according to The Citizen TZ.

This was revealed by the former deputy Agriculture Minister Anthony Mavunde while attending a cashew nut industry stakeholders 2023 meeting in the Tanga Region.

According to him, about 1575.5 acres of land have been set aside in Nanyamba District, Mtwara Region for the construction of industrial clusters for the processing of cashews, a project aimed to be operational starting the 2023/24 financial year.

“The government is doing all this to ensure cashew nut continues to benefit farmers and attract more foreign exchange,” he said.

He also revealed that Tanzania earned US$226.9M in raw cashew nut exports in the 2022/23 fiscal year.

According to him, the export of raw cashews can no longer be accepted, therefore, he is calling upon stakeholders in the sector to end it by 2026/27.

“We are supposed to ensure that over 300,00 tonnes of raw cashew nuts are processed locally including treatment of cashew shells,” he said.

Tanzania is one of the largest cashew producers in Africa, with exports providing 10-15 percent of the country’s foreign exchange.

According to the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT), the production of raw cashews has increased from 210,786.804 tonnes in 2020/2021 to 240,158.752 tonnes in 2021/2022 equivalent to14 percent following various steps taken by the government and other stakeholders to boost the crop farming.

The call by Mavunde is timely, as recently, the government of Tanzania has been scheming to construct local cashew processing facilities to help the government attain the vision of ensuring that starting from 2026/2027, all exported cashew is processed.

In April, Hussein Bashe, the Minister for Agriculture made the revelation stating that the government is working to finalize budgetary and architectural preparation for the commencement of a modern cashew processing facility in the Mtwara region.

According to Bashe, despite Tanzania excelling in the production of the cash crop, only 5 percent of the raw cashew nuts are being processed locally with the other 95 percent being exported to Vietnam or India for value addition before reaching consumer markets of Europe and America.

“We’re missing out on a possible opportunity to generate lucrative profits, in terms of foreign currencies, as we are exporting most of our cashew in raw; the negative trend which provides loopholes for others to benefit from our cashew,” he observed.

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