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  • Uncertainties as cashew farmers refrain from selling crop 10/27/2022

    Oct 27th, 2022

    The Tanzania Cashew Board (CBT) yesterday admitted that it was not happy with the trend of sales of harvested cashews after growers rejected prices offered on grounds that they were way too low. This trend is likely to cause many warehouses to remain with a lot of unsold cashews. Brieing reporters, CBT acting director general Francis Alfred said a total of 17,000 tonnes of cashews have been collected and farmers continue to take cashews to the warehouses. Raw cashew auctions for the year 2022/2023 have shown unsatisfactory trends, especially after farmers were unsatisfied with the price ranges offered by buyers, causing the sales to be postponed to the next week. ALSO READ Petra Diamonds suspends operations at Mwadui mine Business Oct 26 Kenya's SGR contract made public East Africa News Oct 26 “No grower will be forced to sell their produce. Their decisions are to be respected,” said Mr Alfred. “Production of cashews has increased in the world, whereby more than 20 countries grow cashews and rely on the two major markets of India and Vietnam. Africa now produces over 2.3 million tonnes per year compared to 900,000 tonnes produced 10 years ago. “Cashew production in the world has increased from an average of 1,400,000 tonnes in 2010 to 4,100,000 tonnes in 2021. Out of these, Africa produces 56 percent while its extraction is less than 10 percent. “At least 90 percent of the cashews produced in the world is extracted in the two countries of India and Vietnam which are the main markets for raw cashews,” he noted. According to Mr Alfred, Tanzania starts its sales season in October along with Indonesia, Brazil, Mozambique, Kenya and Zambia immediately after the end of the sales season in West African countries that produce a large part of Africa’s raw cashews. He said the increase or decrease in the price of cashews is due to the increase in demand or consumption of cashew nuts in the markets of India, China, Europe and the United States, which are the biggest consumers of processed cashews. For his part, a cashew farmer from Nachingwea District, Lindi Region, Mr Said Mtalala, who owns 150 acres of cashew trees, said the offered prices would not see them realising profits because they incurred huge costs in preparing their farms ready for this season. He said cashew production was costly because the farmer had to buy various inputs, pay labourers, incur transportation costs and at the same time remain at the mercy of vagaries of weather conditions all impacting his profits. Not only that, but also he said weeding charges have increased, noting that an acre costs about Sh100,000 and that the farm will need at least two to three weeding before starting to harvest cashews. “I used 200 bags of fertilizer for my 150-acre farm, out of which the government has provided me with 15 bags for free. I bought the remaining at the cost of Sh60,000 per bag. And, today, some buyer wants to offer me Sh1,600 per kilo? Is that fair?” he asked