BELGIAN investor is set to open a processing plant to extract cashew nut shell oil which will add value to the leading cash crop and help farmers earn more income.
The Acting Director for the Europe and America Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Jestas Nyamanga told the ‘Daily News’ on Monday that the investor was working on final logistics before he opens the first cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) processing plant in the country.
He said the investment would increase farmers’ income and wellbeing realizing from cashew crop as they will be also selling cashew nut shells which used to be thrown away as valueless and useless.
“We are finalising investment logistics for the processing plant,” he said in an interview.
“Cashew producers are set to maximize their income by selling not only the nuts but also its shell.”
According to him, famers earn some 75 per cent of crop value by selling the nuts only but in the near future they will earn 100 percent after selling the shell as well.
The plant will bring to an end for the practice of burning cashew shell, which not only litter surrounding but also increase pollution.
The nut has a shell of about 1/8 inch thickness inside which is a soft honey comb structure containing a dark reddish brown viscous liquid.
The liquid, cashew shell oil, is versatile by product of the cashew industry and is anti-corrosive used as base coat paint in marine vessels and aircraft. The oil is often considered as the better and cheaper material for unsaturated phenols.
The liquid has innumerable applications, such as friction linings, paints, laminating resins, rubber compounding resins, cashew cements, polyurethane based polymers, surfactants, epoxy resins, foundry chemicals and intermediates for chemical industry.
It offers much scope and varied opportunities for the development of other tailor-made polymers.
The ministry official said the prospective investor is currently working on some final logistics before officially setting up the business.
“This will see cashew nuts farmers earn 25 per cent income more per kilogramme, from shell which was previously regarded as waste,” Mr Nyamanga said, adding “and it will create more jobs.”
Mr Nyamanga said later on the project will be handled to Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) after the ministry concludes its part.