State eyes cashew industrial park

MTWARA: THE government has unveiled its plan to establish an industrial park which will accommodate cashewnuts processing factories to add value to the cash crop.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed the plan while addressing Mtwara residents at Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium on her first day of tour of Mtwara Region.

The Head of the State said in the next two years the country will no longer be exporting raw cashewnuts because the government is working on a plan to construct cashewnut processing plants.

“In the next two years we will no longer be exporting raw cashewnuts because we have big plans to establish an industrial pack which will accommodate factories for processing the cash crop,” Dr   Samia announced.

In another development, President Samia directed Mtwara regional authorities to make sure that Mtwara Port is fully utilised to attain the expected outcomes.

She said that the major improvements at Mtwara Port were meant to increase efficiency in transportation of goods and people.

“The government has not improved the port to facelift Mtwara Region rather it was constructed to facilitate movement of goods especially crops and people … we intend to make further improvements  to increase efficiency,” Dr Samia insisted.

She noted that currently crops which are being transported through the port are chickpeas and coal, querying why cashewnuts were not transported through the country’s second water gateway.

Dr Samia said, according to the port management, all the important requirements for transporting the crop via the marine gateway were available including containers.

The President therefore directed Mtwara Regional Commissioner Colonel Ahmed Abbas Ahmed and the Police Force to make sure that people wishing to transport cashewnuts overland are provided with special permits from the RC.

She directed leaders in Mtwara Region to work on issues which were hampering the transportation of the crop through Mtwara Port and agree on the way forward.

“Trucks which will transport cashewnuts must have permits from the RC, with owners or traders required to give reasons for resorting to adopt the mode of transport and the final destination,” she insisted.

She also directed the RC to engage District Commissioners in enforcing the directives.

Dr Samia said that the move will help the authorities to have accurate data on cashewnut production and its markets.

According to latest reports from the Cashewnuts Board of Tanzania (CBT), the industrial park, which is estimated to cost 116 million US dollars, will be built in Nanyamba District, Mtwara Region in an area covering 1,500 hectares.

Processing plants to be built in the industrial park will have a total capacity of processing 300,000 metric tonnes of cashewnuts annually.

The industrial park will also be used to establish plants for making other cashew by-products and plants for processing sesame.

The target is to process 60 per cent of produced cashewnuts by 2025/2026.

Tanzania produced 400,000 metric tonnes of cashewnuts in the 2022/2023 period, but CBT plans to increase production of the crop to 700,000 metric tonnes in 2025/2026.

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