Govt invites Vietnammese invvestors to buy cashewnuts

04Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Govt invites Vietnammese invvestors to buy cashewnuts

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday invited Vietnamese businesses and investors to buy Tanzania’s stockpile of cashewnuts and put up processing plants for the cash crop in the country.

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa and Vietnam’s ambassador to Tanzania, Nguyen Doanh.

A statement released yesterday by the Prime Minister’s Office said Majaliwa extended the invitation in his office in Dar es Salaam in a meeting with Vietnam’s ambassador to Tanzania, Nguyen Doanh.

“The Prime Minister said Tanzania has enough stock of cashewnuts and welcomed business people from Vietnam to come and buy up the stock. He also invited those who can invest in cashewnut processing plants, pledging that the government is ready to support them,” reads the statement in part.

The invitation came after envoy Nguyen informed the PM of coming official visit to Tanzania by Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung who is scheduled to jet in the country on Sunday for a three-day visit.

The leader will be accompanied by more than 20 businesspeople and investors from the Far East country’s leading companies.

“The government continues to improve the ease of starting and doing business through reforms in legislation whereby laws and regulations found to be restrictive are done away with,” the PM told the envoy.

Tanzania has been struggling to sell its stockpile of mainly raw cashew, with a deal to sell 100,000 tonnes to a Kenyan firm that was inked in January this year declared dead in May.

Industry and Trade minister Joseph Kakunda announced that Indo Power had failed to implement provisions of the contract on time.

On January 30, the government – through the Cereals and Other Produce Board – signed an agreement with the little-known firm under which the company was to purchase 100,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth $180.2 million (about Sh418 billion).

Indo Power chief executive Brian Mutembei said during the signing ceremony that the company would directly pay the Bank of Tanzania for the raw cashew nuts, noting that shipment to Kenya would begin on the first week of February.

The announcement that the deal had failed dealt a blow to major cashew producing regions especially Lindi and Mtwara where famers have since last year been contending with delayed payments.

By February, thousands of farmers were yet to be paid as deadlines for the exercise to be completed kept being shifted.

Speaking in the National Assembly early February, PM Majaliwa directed the Ministry of Agriculture that the verification and payment of cashew nut farmers be concluded by February 15th.

The premier had earlier set February 5 as the deadline after the government missed the initial one set by President John Magufuli, for January 31.

Agriculture Minister Japhet Hasunga had said in an interview with The Guardian in February that a total of 12,378 cashew nut farmers with more than 1,500 kilos were yet to be verified.

He said the government had so far paid 504bn/- in total, out of the verified cashew worth 546.2bn/-.