Samia now wants all cashews exported through Mtwara Port

President Samia Suluhu Hassan hands over ambulance keys to the executive director of the Southern Zone Referral Hospital, Herbert Masigati, after the official launch of the hospital on September 15 , 2023. PHOTO | STATE HOUSE

What you need to know:

  • Her directives aimed at discouraging the transportation of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) using trucks from upcountry to Dar es Salaam port for exports.

Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan reiterated yesterday that Mtwara Port should be used as a primary export route for cashew nuts from southern regions.

She said cashew exports using other seaports should effectively get the authorization of the Regional Commissioner (RC).

Her directives aimed at discouraging the transportation of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) using trucks from upcountry to Dar es Salaam port for exports.

Sh147.8 billion has been invested in the rehabilitation of the Mtwara port, which involves the construction of new berths and the deployment of modern handling equipment.

The President’s orders echo the Tanzania Cashew Board’s (CBT) insistence that Mtwara Port should be used for RCN export and not otherwise.

However, last season, the port was reported to be facing a serious shortage of containers and insufficient vessels.

Yesterday, President Hassan told a rally at the Nangwanda Sijaona Ground that the government will monitor the directives to export RCN through the Mtwara Port.

“Anyone who will transport RCN by vehicle should secure an official permit from the RC’s office,” she said after inspecting the implementation of development projects including the Zone Referral Hospital, schools, and Mtwara Airport.

The Head of State also directed regional authorities to sit down with cashew stakeholders in order to determine the challenges facing the crop and come up with their respective solutions.

Speaking during the event, Transport Minister Makame Mbarawa said the performance of Mtwara port has significantly increased over recent years, from handling an average of 592,365 tonnes of cargo annually to 1.628 million tonnes.

“The port is an economic gateway to Mtwara Region and the entirety of the southern regions, facilitating economic and business activities,” he said.

Prof Mbarawa said the port had also started processing containerized cargo in the previous fiscal year 2022/2023, totaling 51,860 containers, registering the country’s history and milestones.

“The port is now number two in the country behind the Dar es Salaam Port,” he said.

The minister said with the new investments and plans, the government targets boosting cargo handling to 3 million tonnes a year.

Prof Mbarawa said the President has directed the establishment of a special port that would specifically handle cement, fertiliser, and coal from southern regions.

“We have received Sh150 billion for the construction of the port, which will be built at the islet of Mgao. By next week, we will start announcing a tender for the project execution,” said Prof Mbarawa.

International Day of Democracy

Delivering her message on the commemoration of the International Day of Democracy, which goes under the theme Empowering the next generation, President Hassan underscored the significance of respecting the country’s democratic freedoms while at the same time promoting safe and peaceful political movements.

She mentioned that she knows people have already started preparing for the 2024 and 2025 elections, but these preparations should not lead to conflicts or threaten the country’s peace.

“There is no need for conflicts; anyone who has done a good job, the citizens have seen it, and they will re-elect them,” President Hassan said.