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  • Tanzania: Majaliwa Orders Public Leaders Out of Cashew Business

    Sep 18th, 2017

    PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday ordered all government leaders without cashewnut farms to refrain from cash crop business. "If you don't have a cashewnut farm, you have nothing to do with the crop's business. You are only duty-bound to follow up, reprimand and take appropriate actions, if necessary, to facilitate trading of the cash crop," the Premier argued while officiating at the cashewnut stakeholders' meeting in Tanga.

    "As the government encourages new farmers in the cashew farming, you should use the opportunity and farm, if you indeed wish to engage in the business," he directed. Mr Majaliwa tasked the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) to properly advise the government on the best possible ways to develop the crop, noting that the government believes if all stakeholders played their respective roles effectively, the crop will immensely benefit the country. "It is important that all parties evaluated themselves to see if they were fulfilling their responsibilities as required," he said, directing the cooperative leaders to ethically execute their duties.

    The Premier said the government will never entertain low and delayed payments to farmers, adding that in this season, the government does not expect to see a repeat of challenges, including cashewnut shrivelling, that hindered efficiency in the previous season. The cashewnut withers six months from the time of harvest to selling. "But, it takes less than six months to complete the buying of all cashewnuts, so in essence, the farmer is not responsible for cashewnut shrinking," the Premier stressed.

    Mr Majaliwa threatened stern disciplinary measures against anybody found responsible for the spoilage of farmers' produce. "I hereby direct all leaders at all levels to seriously work on this." He also banned Warehouse Receipts Regulatory Board from charging crop storage fees because it's not their job. "You are only responsible with the issuance of licences," he said. However, the Premier directed the warehouse owners to allow government leaders to inspect the premises before and during the cashewnut sales. He said the government leaders should be allowed to inspect the warehouses even during the cashewnut auctions to ensure all the procedures are effectively used to preserve the crop.

    Earlier, the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Mr Charles Mwijage, said Tanzania produces cashewnuts of the highest quality, globally, encouraging farmers and other stakeholders to sustain the superiority. He said the government would continue encouraging investors from both within and outside the country to invest in cashewnut processing industries for value addition. At the meeting were the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Charles Tizeba, Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu and Minister of State, Vice-President's Office, Union and Environment, January Makamba, among others.