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  • Mr Juma Yusuph, Cashewnut Board of Tanzania

    Jul 23rd, 2016

    This is a transcript of the exclusive interview with Mr Juma Yusuf with regards to issues concerning cashew nut industry of Tanzania.

    1)     Last year Mtwara port was closed for modernization and expansion just before the commencement of cashew season. So exporters faced lot of hardships. Will it be ready for shipment this year?

    Mtwara port was not closed for the mentioned purpose though the Port Authority in near future is about to execute the plan. The operations went on but the challenge behind the hardships faced by exporters was due to the increase in utility of the port itself. The biggest cement factory construction project by Dangote was one of the increases in utility; they were importing heavy equipment for the ongoing construction. So when Dangote vessel was offloading equipment the cashew vessel did not get the chance till Dangote vessel is done. The Mtwara port has one berthing gate.

    2)     In Mtwara how many transit sheds are there and mention the total storage capacity.

    There are two transit sheds; first shed is called Back of port with acreage of 9,160 meter square and the second is shed 3 with acreage of 7,322 meter square. The first shed is already taken by investors so it is no longer for public consumption. The second shed is the one being used by the public.

    3)     What is the present handling capacity of Mtwara port (tons per year) and how much it can handle once the expansion and modernization process is over.

    The present handling capacity of Mtwara port is 400,000 tons per year. The study towards expansion is underway so far we don’t have the estimates of the handling capacity till the study is complete.

    4)     There are reports of quality issues of RCN towards the end of the season. What are the measures taken by the CBT to overcome the same?

    CBT in good cooperation with Tanzania Warehouse Licensing Board is taking strong measures towards unscrupulous warehouse operators including taking away of their so called performance bond so that in the coming season there are no such occurrences.

    5)     In the concluded 2014-15 Tanzania produced record crop of close to 200,000 tons. What is CBT’s (Cashewnut Board of Tanzania) target for the coming season 2015-16? Explain the reason behind surge in production in the last few years.

    The reason behind surge in production include good rainfall distribution season 2013/2014, good supply of inputs to growers especially chemicals against cashew pests and diseases and high demand of raw cashews especially from India and Vietnam. The mentioned record is marketed production record. In Tanzania our production figure is only the quantity and quality of cashew which has been collected and sold during that particular season. So when the market is not good there is chances that only little crop will be collected and sent to the market.

    6)     Although WRS (warehouse receipt system) has achieved the overall desired results, there are allegations/perceptions that WRS has not addressed lack of transparency, as a result of closed bidding and with respect to minimum price settings, lack of efficient quality control mechanism, which has impacted the cashew farmer’s income. How are you going to address the above mentioned issues?

    CBT in collaboration with Tanzania Cashew nut Industry Development Fund is in a process to install electronic online auction for selling cashew nuts. On the other hand, the Commodity Exchange Market in the country is going to start very soon. Cashew nut is one of the crops to be pioneered.