Korean firm completes $5 million cashew processing factory

Grading of cashew before processing

What you need to know:

  • The new factory that will have the capacity to process between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes of raw cashew is a significant boost to the government’s determination to export more processed cashewnut

Dar es Salaam. A Korean company has announced the completion of a $5 million (about Sh12.5 billion)cashew nut processing and cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) factory in Mkuranga District, Coast Region.

Tanzania is determined to export processed cashewnuts to ensure more revenue for the government and cashew growers.

Mirae Green Chemical Co. Ltd. is located at Dundani Industrial Park in the Mkuranga District.

Incorporated since June 2022, the factory will have the capacity to process 3,000 to 4,000 metric tonnes of raw cashews and be able to produce 2,500 to 3,000 metric tonnes of CNSL per year.

According to the Mirae Green chief executive, Mr Hee Sung Cho, the facilities will also have the capacity to produce 2,500 to 3,000 metric tonnes of charcoal flake per year.

“We believe in the power of collaboration and have experienced such a welcoming environment from local partners like the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and other government agencies,” he said.

Cashew nut shell liquid is a key raw material for bio-heavy oil, which is an eco-friendly fuel due to its reduction effects on air pollution like sulphate oxygen and nitrogen oxygen. In Korea, such fuel has a higher demand since the government has been offering financial subsidies to users of bio-heavy oil to accomplish the zero-carbon policy.

EPZA’s director of investment promotion, Mr James Maziku, said from the company’s business plan point of view, the authority appreciates the substantial value of key performance indicators that the project contributes to the realisation of government policy objectives.

This, he said, is in terms of the number of jobs to be created, the total amount of capital invested, and projections of export sales.

“The Authority also appreciates the kind of technology to be applied to the factory, which will positively impact efficiency and productivity across the entire value chain of the cashew industry in the country,” said Mr Maziku. The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Tausi Mbaga, applauded the significant investment and emphasised that it not only upgraded the cashew nut value chain in Tanzania but also ensured a significant contribution to the overall economy.

Tanzania cashew production ranges on an annual average of 220,000 metric tonnes over the last ten years (2013/14–2022/23).

According to the government, its ultimate goal is to produce 1,000,000 metric tonnes per year by 2030, with intermediate targets of 400,000 metric tonnes in 2023/24 and 700,000 metric tonnes by 2026/27.

The key challenge has been processing technology, as data indicates about 90 percent of produced cashew nuts is exported in raw form, thus fetching low prices.