TANZANIA – The Tanzanian government has announced the establishment of a cashew nut industrial park in Maranje, Mtwara region.

The project, spearheaded by the Cashew Council (CBT), will occupy a 636-hectare site and is expected to cost approximately 7.5 billion shillings (US$ 2.9 million).

This development marks a significant step towards enhancing the country’s cashew nut processing capabilities and boosting local value addition.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, David Silinde, revealed the plans for the industrial park on June 12.

“The activities carried out so far include clearing the area, starting the drilling of water wells and extending electricity to the area. In addition, a contractor has been selected to build internal gravel roads, two prototype warehouses, and a cashew processing plant,” Silinde said.

This initiative aligns with Tanzania’s broader objective of processing all its cashew nut production locally by 2027.

Currently, the country processes less than 15% of its annual cashew nut production, which stands at around 300,000 tons. The new industrial park is expected to significantly increase this percentage.

Strategic growth and government support

Tanzania has seen a remarkable growth in cashew nut production, with the 2023/24 season reaching 305,014 metric tons, up from 189,114 metric tons in the previous season.

This surge is largely due to the government’s provision of subsidized agricultural inputs, which saw the value of subsidies double to 188.99 billion shillings (US$72M) in the 2023/24 season.

To further support this growth, the government has laid out strategies aiming to achieve a production target of 400,000 tons in the 2023/24 season.

These strategies include enhancing the availability of high-quality seeds, improving pest and disease control measures, and expanding extension services to farmers.

The establishment of the cashew nut industrial park is expected to attract more investment in the processing segment, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

By processing cashew nuts locally, Tanzania aims to increase the value of its exports and strengthen its position as the main supplier of raw cashew nuts in East Africa.

“The industrial park will not only enhance the processing capacity but also create numerous employment opportunities for the local population,” Silinde emphasized. This move is anticipated to provide a significant boost to the region’s economic development.

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