The government yesterday said the cashew sub-sector will generate an average of about Sh800 billion in the 2019/20 trading season.
Agriculture minister Japhet Hasunga said that the amount will be reached after buyers pay required charges in the business chain.
He said Sh567 billion has so far been paid to farmers as from 216,436.1 tonnes of cashews sold out of 216,782.6 tonnes collected.
“The country will earn more after buyers pay 15 percent of exported cashews as export levy and the Free on Board (FOB) payments,” he said, adding.
“When wharfage, payments for packaging materials and warehouse charges have all been effected, the sub-sector will generate an average of Sh700 billion or Sh800 billion this season.”
He said though the 290,000 tonnes production target may not be realised, the country could slightly exceed the 225,000 tonnes of cashews produced last season. Mr Hasunga said the season was generally a success, noting that government will come up with a final comprehensive report detailing collections made, sales, revenue earned, challenges and strategies for the 2020/21 season.
Mtwara Region assistant registrar of cooperatives Juma Mokili said 132,217 tonnes of cashews, which is equivalent to 90 percent of 150,000 tonnes targeted has been sold in the region.
He attributed abrupt changes of weather and delayed supply of agricultural inputs to failure to meet the target.
“We will set a target of 175,000 tonnes in the 2020/21 season. Farmers will be mobilised to make early preparation of their farms, enough agricultural inputs and packaging materials will be supplied on time,” he said.
The Lindi Region assistant registrar of cooperatives, Mr Robert Nsunza, said they have collected a total of Sh148 billion as of January 26 following the sale of 56,000 tonnes of cashews.
“We are planning to hold final auctions for over 2,000 tonnes of cashews in Liwale District. Also, we will auction other cashews collected at Bucco and Tanroad Nangurukuru warehouses where farmers rejected low prices offered by the only buyer during the auction,” he said.
According to him, the region will record cashew sales close to 59,000 tonnes close to productions recorded during the 2018/19 season.
He said heavy rains contributed to failure to meet the targets, noting that production target for 2020/21 season will be 80,000 tonnes.