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  • Local cashew nut farmers to learn from their Tanzanian counterparts: Envoy says

    Nov 1st, 2018

    Kenyan cashew nut farmers could soon benefit from benchmarking initiatives with their Tanzanian counterparts. Kenya's High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Dan Kazungu has expressed willingness to provide linkages between farmers from the two friendly states.

    Former CS defend self over car allowance In an exclusive telephone interview with The Standard from Dar Es Salaam, the envoy said that local cashew nut farmers can learn alot from what their counterparts in Tanzania, particularly in regions around Mtwara and Lindi engage in cashew nut husbandry. Tanzania ranks as one of Africa's largest producers of crop exporting over 350,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts per annum representing 100 per cent in the past three years. '' They are way ahead in cashew nut farming here. While in Kenya we produce about 20,000 tonners per year, Tanzania's yearly production is about 380,000 metric tonnes over per annum,'' Kazungu said.

    He added that about 300,000 tonnes come from only two regions of Mtwara (220,000) and Lindi (80,000 tonnes) with rest of Tanzania producing 80,000 tonnes. Kazungu said that the government in Tanzania through Regional Commissioners tend to work closely with cashew nut farmers particularly in the two main growing areas. Your opinion is valuable. Take this quick survey to help us improve the website and content '' There exists a Cashew nut Board that serves the interest of all cashew growers. While we aim back home to plant 5 million new trees in the next five years (1 million per year) , Lindi region alone has planted 5 million cashew seedlings last year,'' the envoy explained. He said that he was more than willing to assist anyone interested in further boosting the cashew nut agenda now that his duty station was in Tanzani where cashew nut growing is flourishing. Kazungu said that the county governments of Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu where cashew nutgrowing is taking place can reap from engaging in exchange programmes by having their farmers participate in field tours in Tanzania to

    Early in the year, the European Union (EU) launched a US$2.37 million cashew nut and sesame value chain project to revive the ailing industry after the collapse of the sole processor at the Kenyan Coast, Kenya Cashew nutsFactory. Revival of the new factory, now under the management of the Millennium Nuts Company, could bring hope for 15,000 farmers in Kilifi, Kwale and Lamu counties, reported the Nation. While some blamed the collapse of the company on its privatization in 1993, the EU Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Stefano Antonio Dejac said the projected aimed at addressing challenges faced by more than 100, 000 farmers. Kilifi Governor, Amason Kingi said shares were bought fraudulently by an investor and used as a collateral for a bank loan. According to him, at its potential, the factory had 3,000 workers and processed more than 30,000 tonnes of cashew annually. “So huge was the industry that farmers controlled 45 per cent of its stake, with the government having the rest,” Governor Kingi said. Shares were bought fraudulently by an investor before they were used as collateral for a bank loan trade Efforts to revive the industry in the recent past have always faced challenges including lack of commitment by the government, farmers’ unwillingness to plant hybrid orchard, aging trees and lack of market. Through a five-year program, the EU will provide funds to a Kenyan Agricultural company, Tenses Africa to supply more than one million cashew seedlings to the farmers in the counties. To help the cashew nut industry which collapsed more than three decades ago to bloom again, Kilifi county government has committed itself to plant five million trees throughout the region in addition to rejuvenating another 2 million orchards through topping and grafting. Then, the cashew nut industry contribution to the country’s GDP was said to be almost 4%. The project will help in establishing cashew nutplantations and introduction of hybrid cashew variety which matures fast. Ambassador Stefano added that there was enough market for cashew nuts in Europe as that 20% of Kenya’s exports end up in the EU.