International

Tanzania government tries to sell cashew hoard

Tanzania’s government is trying to find buyers for the hoard of cashew nuts it bought from farmers in November.

Last year farmers complained that buyers’ offers for their crops were too low and refused to sell.

The government then brought in an official price but the buyers refused to purchase the nuts at that price.

So the government bought the crops and sent military trucks to pick them up.

Three months later, Trade and Industry and Minister Joseph Kakunda now says that the government has realised that it doesn’t have the capacity to process all the nuts in Tanzania so wants to sell off 200,000 tonnes of cashews.

He has not specified a price for the nuts.

Before the last harvest, around 90% of the nuts produced in Tanzania were exported with the shell and processed in India and Vietnam before being re-exported to the US and Europe.

Mr Kakunda said that the government intends to use the money it gets from selling the nuts to invest in processing for next season.

He also denied accusations that the government had not paid for the nuts – saying that it had paid almost all the farmers and was in the process of paying the rest.

Source: FIILA/BBC

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