NALIENDELE’S Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) plans to start inviting potential investors to add value to cashew apple.
TARI will educate interested investors in skills to process cashew apples into juice, wine, jam, spirit among other products.
TARI Technology Transfer for Partnership Officer Stella Andrea said the institute had developed improved technology for processing cashew apples into food and other products.
“We’ll invite interested investors and cashew growers to TARI Naliendele and educate them on the new technology of processing apples to produce cashew wine, juice, jam and spirit, among other things,” Ms Andrea said.
The plan will go in line with imparting skills to small-scale farmers to engage in sustainable cultivation practices and techniques to be able to turn the cashew apples into a profitable agricultural activity.
Currently, thousands of tonnes of cashew apples are left to rot on farms due to limited knowledge despite the potential they have. Processing apple will also add extra revenue to farmers.
According to TARI Naliendele, farmers and other players lose trillions of shillings every year for neglecting the cashew apple.
“Most farmers who grow the cashew crop only targeting to sell the nuts…they do not know that the cashew apples value addition could increase their wellbeing as well,” she said, adding that they had conducted a number of studies on fruit value addition.
She said the research institute had set up a strategic plan to commercialise valued added products from cashew apples through radios and TV programmes, leaflets among other ways to attract potential investors to engage in the business.
Speaking during practical training organised by TARI Naliendele in collaboration with the Cashew nut Board of Tanzania (CBT), farmers in Lindi and Mtwara regions commended the research institute for developing the technology.
“It is indeed a very commendable plan that should be supported by every farmer because for many years we have been throwing cashew apples as waste without knowing their value,” said Maida Rashid, a small-scale farmer in Masasi, Mtwara.
Ms Amina Milangu, a cashew grower in Lindi urged the government to build a cashew apple processing plant in the Southern Zone to enable cashew growers to cultivate cashew apples and generate wealth.
“We call upon the government to build a processing plant as the plan will be inevitable for us to turn into the better cultivation of cashew apples,” she said. The majority of cashews in Tanzania are exported as raw materials.