About 10,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth 12bn/- harvested during the year 2012/2013 are still in the hands of the crop growers in Coast Region after failing to get buyers.
Regional Trade Officer Aali M. Nangumwe said recently that the growers have failed to get buyers due to various reasons including claims that the crop lacks quality and the set price for Grade A is against the indicative one of 1,200/- per kg.
He also said that primary cooperative societies under the warehouse receipt system could not buy the crop after they failed to get funds.
Worse enough, the societies are yet to pay the loans they received from banks for the purpose of purchasing the crop in the 2011/2012 harvest season.
“In the circumstances, the crop is piled up in the warehouses and the societies have failed to get money to pay the debts and the last payment to growers that is 30 per cent according to the warehouse receipt system,” he said.
Nangumwe said that more than 60 per cent of 6,000 tonnes worth the cashew nuts bought during the 2011/2012 harvest season by primary cooperative societies in the region are still piled up in warehouses after missing buyers.
He said that only one third of 6,000 tonnes worth 4bn/- bought during the season through cooperative societies was sold to one buyer.
However he could not continue to purchase the crop on grounds that it was not up to the required quality after cutting test were conducted.
He said that growers were sometimes the source of the poor quality of the crop as they did not put it into grades, besides mixing the poor and quality crop in same container.
“Some growers were unfaithfully mixing the crop with poor quality ones by putting it below the sacks assuming that it could not easily be seen during checks and cutting tests,” he said.
A grower at Kidugalo village in Kisarawe District, Amir Digosi said he has decided to process them in a move to win the Dar es Salaam market where buyers could purchase it 10,000/- per kg.
“I have decided to burn and cut to get the nuts which I sell in the city at 10,000/- per kg and in most cases I earn 150,000/- per sachet of 100 kg of nuts. Each sack would produce 15 kg after processing it to get the nuts,” he said.
Digosi is among many growers in the region who have decided to process the crop locally and sell the product within the country.
The regional cooperative office could not immediately explain its plans to get the buyers of the crop piled up in the warehouses, saying it has no reports from district authorities.