PRIVATE buyers will be allowed to buy cashew nuts from farmers in a new system for the forthcoming harvesting season of the cash crop to be announced next week, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe (pictured) has said.
He said in Parliament yesterday that transparent procurement method will be used in the forthcoming season which begins next month, where competitive bidders will be invited and selected according to merit.
“Next week, the Minister of Agriculture will announce a new system for buying cashew nuts...Private buyers will procure the cashews in competitive bidding arrangement,” he said in response to a question from Rashid Akbar Ajali (Newala Rural, CCM), who wanted to know about government preparations for the next cashew harvesting season.
The government bought all cashew nut harvests amounting to 220,000 tonnes from farmers last year after private buyers refused to increase prices offered to growers as directed by President John Magufuli.
The president raised the price to at least 3,000/-per kilogram, to protect farmers from low prices, and instructed the government to buy all of the harvest after private buyers refused to buy at a higher price.
As one of the largest Cashew nut producers in Africa, Tanzania’s cashew nut exports provide ten to fifteen percent of the country’s foreign exchange.
The country is the eighth largest grower of cashew nut in the world and ranks fourth in Africa.
The Deputy Minister said the government will not increase farm gate rate this year to relieve farmers of high farming costs.
He earlier said that from 2012/13, the government through Cashew nuts Board began bulk purchase of farm inputs for cashew nuts crop to make sure cotton farmers received quality farm inputs and at the right time.
He said the system offer prices relief for farmers and control quality and availability of the inputs. He said pesticide needs for cashew in the 2019/20 season was 30,000 tons of sulphur flour and 500,000 liters of pesticides in liquid form.
The amount of pesticides available in the country since the beginning of 2019/20 season was 19,000 tons for sulphur flour and 270,000 liters in liquid form.
TANECU has 4,000 of sulphur flour tons and private traders have 7,000 tons of sulphur flour and 700,000 tons of the pesticide in liquid form.