Tanzania to export processed cashewnuts from 2026

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is targeting to export processed cashews  by 2026/27 instead of transporting raw cashew nuts outside the country.

Former deputy Agriculture Minister Anthony Mavunde made the revelation recently in Tanga Region during a meeting of cashewnut industry stakeholders 2023.

He said the mission of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s government was to increase cashew nut contribution in the country’s economy and significantly promote farmers’ earnings through value addition.

According to him, at least 1,575.5 acres of land has been set aside in Nanyamba District, Mtwara Region for construction of industrial clusters for the processing of cashews and its products starting the 2023/24 financial year.

“The government is doing all this to ensure cashewnut continues to benefit farmers and attract more foreign exchange. Tanzania earned $226.9 million in raw cashewnut (RCN) exports in the 2022/23 fiscal year,” he said.

Mr Mavunde who has been promoted to become the minister for Minerals in a recent cabinet reshuffle made by President Hassan said RCN exports also shipped jobs, farmer’s wealth and government revenues to foreign countries.

“This can no longer be accepted. Therefore, it should be ended by 2026/27. We are supposed to ensure that over 300,000 tonnes of RCN are processed locally including treatment of cashewnut shells,” he said.

Treated cashew shells produce Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) which when subjected to other stages of treatment could be used as friction dust, brake lining, clutch facings, brake pad composites etc.

Other uses include as paints and varnishes, enamels, cashew lacquers, electrical conductors, laminating resins, rubber compounding resins, cashew cements, polyurethane based polymers, surfactants, epoxy resins, anticorrosive lining chemicals and foundry chemicals and intermediates for chemical industry.

Mr Mavunde said during the event that the government continues to improve cashew farmers’ databases, survey the farms and count cashew trees through the satellite system.

The process involves filming farmers, taking biometric fingerprints and providing farmers with special identification numbers that would enable them in accessing key services including securing subsidized fertilizers and trading the produce.

Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) board chairman, Brigadier General Aloyce Mwanjile commended the government for setting different strategies aimed at supporting the industry.

“The strategies will support the realisation of the country's target to produce 700,000 tonnes of RCN by 2025/26 season,” he said.
For his part, Tanga Regional Commissioner (RC) Waziri Kindamba said the region’s opportunity to host the 2023 meeting of Industry Stakeholders was a motivation to strengthen cashews production.