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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzanian President John Magufuli orders
prompt payments for cashew nuts farmers

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Wednesday ordered relevant authorities to promptly pay cashew nuts growers who sold their cash crop to the government but could not be paid on time.

In a meeting with religious leaders at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, President Magufuli said he wants to see cashew nuts farmers paid promptly.

"There are sufficient funds. And there should be no red-tape in paying the farmers," said the president in the meeting broadcast live by state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

Responding to queries by one of the religious leaders who had wanted to know reasons behind the delayed payments to farmers, the head of state directed the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade should make arrangements for the prompt payments to the farmers.

However, President Magufuli said payments should be made after verifications were done by regional commissioners, district commissioners and grassroots leaders in cashew nuts growing regions of Mtwara, Lindi, Coast, Ruvuma and Tanga.

Last week, the Minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga, said the government will ensure that all cashew nut farmers would have received payment for the produce it bought from them by the end of this month.

The news raised hopes among farmers in cashew-growing regions who have been complaining of delayed payments for over two months now.

On November 12, last year, Magufuli said the government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers at the minimum price of 3,300 Tanzanian shillings (about 1.44 U.S. dollars) per kilogram through the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank.

The decision was reached after the state issued a four-day ultimatum to traders to buy cashew nuts at reasonable price.

This was after farmers rejected lower prices which were set by the dealers.

Tanzania harvested more than 200,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in the current farming season of the cash crop.
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oNOVEMBER 2018:o

Tanzanian president says government will buy entire cashew nuts stock

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Monday officially announced the government’s decision to buy all cashew nuts at 3,300 Tanzanian shillings (about 1.44 U.S. dollars) a kilogram, after private buyers were reluctant to buy the crop.

"It’s true the price of cashews has dropped in India and Vietnam, but our bodies, such as the commodity exchange and Tanzania Trade Development Authority, have not bothered to help farmers," he said.

Magufuli announced the decision after he had sworn in ministers and deputy ministers he appointed last week in a mini-cabinet reshuffle, the Directorate of Presidential Communication said a statement.

Last week, Magufuli sacked Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage and Minister of Agriculture Charles Tizeba.

He directed the Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank to immediately release money for buying the nuts; he also ordered the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces to get prepared for ferrying bought cashew nuts from farmers.

On Friday last week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa issued a four-day ultimatum to 35 private firms that have registered to buy cashew nuts to state in writing by Monday the amount of cashew nuts that they intended to buy this season.

"Failure to do so in four days beginning today (Friday) until Monday at 4 p.m. the government will revoke permits to buy cashew nuts that were given to the 35 firms," Majaliwa told a news conference in the capital Dodoma.

The statement from the presidency said the army lorries will be deployed in cashew nuts growing regions of Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, Coast and Tanga.

"I am appealing to cashew nuts farmers to be patient. The government will buy their cashew nuts and seek a reliable market," the president said.

Majaliwa said the current cashew nuts buying season witnessed low prices of the crop during a handful of auctions held in cashew nuts growing regions of Coast, Tanga, Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma, forcing President Magufuli to convene a meeting last week with buyers of the crop, in which it was agreed that a kilogram of cashew nuts should be sold at 3,000 Tanzanian shillings onward.

"It was an open discussion during the meeting and the buyers agreed to buy a kilogram of cashew nuts at 3,000 shillings onward, but after the meeting the buying of cashew nuts in auctions continued to be at snail’s pace," Majaliwa said.

The prime minister said during the previous season, 300,000 tonnes of cashew nuts were harvested and that 200,000 tonnes of the crop are expected to be harvested during the current season.

Last week, Majaliwa told parliament that the government was seeking markets for cashew nuts abroad.

"The government is holding talks with various countries that can offer handsome prices for our cashew nuts," Majaliwa told the house in Dodoma.

The new buying season started early this month but no trading took place due to a boycott, leading to fears that the disruption would affect the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

International prices for cashew nuts have dropped by nearly half since March 2017.

Farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s top cashew nuts producer with an output of 770,000 tonnes expected this year, were reported last month to have been struggling to sell their yields, with an estimated 150,000 tonnes lying around in warehouses.
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FURTHER READING:

As one of largest Cashewnut producers in Africa, Tanzania cashew nut
exports provide ten to fifteen per cent of the country’s foreign exchange

             

 

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