Mtwara. The Tanzania Cashews Forum organized by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has been launched in Mtwara today Friday, July 12, 2019 gathering hundreds of local and foreign stakeholders.
Opening the forum, deputy minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba said the government is targeting to increase cashews production to one million tonnes by 2023-24, up from maximum production of 313,000 tonnes recorded in the 2017-18 season.
“The government has initiated a program to increase cashews production from 10kg per tree per annum to 35kg per tree per annum,” he said.
He said measures have been taken to increase cashews growing regions from five to 17 regions, noting that the government has embarked a huge campaign to promote domestic consumption.
Speaking during the forum, Lindi Regional Commissioner, Godfrey Zambi said the region has allocated over 2,000 hectors for people who would like to invest in cashews plantations and industries.
“We have enough investment potentials in terms of plantations and industries, the pending challenge remains to be lack of value addition companies forcing us to export raw nuts,” he said.
He said in the region’s efforts to increase cashews production has seen some 7 million new cashew seedlings distributed for planting in various districts.
“We started with 28,000 tonnes of cashews seedlings in 2015/16 that were increased to 61,000 tonnes in 2016/17. Seedlings production and distribution increased to 76,000 tonnes in 2017/18 season before declining to 56,000 tonnes in 2018/19 because of bad weather,” he said.
According to him, one local investor has been awarded with 35 hectares of land in areas not owned by individuals and that the title deed will be provided to him immediately.