‘Govt paying cashew nut farmers who harvested 1,500 kilogrammes’

08Feb 2019
Felister Peter
DODOMA
The Guardian
‘Govt paying cashew nut farmers who harvested 1,500 kilogrammes’

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa told the House yesterday that the government had started to pay cashew nut farmers harvested 1,500 kilogrammes and above as the deadline for the exercise is due next week.

“Every farmer will be paid accordingly. Our team will meet and verify every farmer. Payments were initially directed to those with less than 1,500 tonnes” said PM Majaliwa assuring farmers that they will all be paid before the deadline—February 15th 2019.

The government extended the deadline for verification and payment exercise to cashew nuts farmers from February 5th to February 15, 2019.

The verification exercise was introduced after the government was suspicious of some unscrupulous traders who would have bought the cashew nut in ‘Kangomba’ system whereby crops are sold while at early growing stages.

 He was responding to a questions by Liwale MP, Zuberi Kuchauka (CCM) and Hamidu Babali (Mchinga-CUF) during the Prime Minister’s weekly impromptu questions-and-answers session yesterday.

The legislators were concerned with the government’s slow paying pace. Kuchauka raise queries over price difference  the farmers were being paid saying the Cereals and other Produce Board of Tanzania was buying cashew at 2,600/- per kilogramme, contrary to the indicative price of 3,300/- per kg.

The Premier said, the government paid another 100bn/- to cashew nut farmers in five cashew growing regions making a total of more than 525bn/- since the process began late December, 2018.

He explained that payments are done in accordance with the law governing the Cereals and other Produce Board of Tanzania.

He said the law requires the board to but second grade cashew at the price equivalent to 80 per cent of the standard grade price.

He said the government’s indicative price was set at 3,300/- per kilo of first grade cashew, the second grade cashew was to be sold at 2,600/- per kilo.

Majaliwa said: “On January 27, 2019 when in a tour in southern regions, I directed regional authorities to engage officials from local government and district council in the verification exercise”.

He also directed the officials to form big teams with a good number of people to conduct verification exercise in vast districts of Tandahimba, Liwale, Nanyumbu and Rufiji.

On Monday, Agriculture Deputy Minister, Omary Mgumba said the government has purchased more than 215 thousand tonnes of cashew nut worth 707bn/- until January 30th 2019.

The country’s cashew nut production projection for the 2018/2019 was more than 240,000 tonnes of raw cashew.

The country’s cashew nut exports rose to $ 541.77 million in 2017 from $ 270.6 million in 2016, surpassing all of Tanzania’s cash crops, including coffee and tobacco, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows.

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