THE Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) in Nanyumbu District, and Masasi and Mtwara Cooperative Union (MAMCU) leaders have agreed on building a cashew nut warehouse to improve storage of the crop and reduce costs borne by cashew nut growers.
Speaking at the end of joint talks here in the presence of Nanyumbu District Commissioner, Mr Moses Machali, TADB Managing Director, Mr Japhet Justine said storage of cashew nut in the district had been a serious challenge that needed an urgent solution. Lack of a godown, he explained, increased production costs and post-harvest loses.
“TADB aims to encourage big reforms in the agriculture sector in conformity with the plans of the fifth phase government and in implementing the national agenda of building an industrial economy.
Raw materials are an important aspect, and crops are important raw materials for our industries. We shall do whatever possible to promote the agriculture sector and increase the national gross product (GDP),” he said.
He explained that the bank was financing the project through the smallholder credit guarantee scheme (SCGS) and in cooperation with the MAMCU.
The government has declared cashew nut as a strategic cash crop with two goals: to increase disposable income of growers and earn foreign currency.
Production of the crop has steadily increased in recent years. Cashew nut production has risen from 155,416 tonnes during the 2015/16 growing season to 350,000 tonnes during the 2018/2019.
Mr Machali thanked TADB for supporting the project, adding that the district was producing an average of 19,000 tonnes annually.