Tanzanian Gov. Pledges to Pay Cashew Farmers Back
Tanzania’s cashew farmers received welcome news on Monday when the government pledged it would finally pay them for the nuts they bought during the 2018/19 harvest.
During the opening of the cashew nut stakeholder’s meeting, Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba said that the government was currently in the process of paying Sh24 billion ($10.4 million) to service providers, and a further Sh9 billion ($3.9 million) to the producers of cashew seedlings across the country.
He admitted he was “aware that farmers are eager to hear the government’s statement on payments of arrears for the 2018/19 [season]. I would like to assure you all that remaining arrears will be paid by October 30th2019”.
More than 220,000 tonnes of cashew nuts were bought by the Tanzanian government during the 2018/19 season, amounting to around Sh722 billion ($313 million). Of this amount, Mgumba said that Sh633 billion ($275 million) had already been paid to farmers, yet a further Sh59 billion ($25 million) were still outstanding.
Cashew nuts are a vital export of Tanzania. The previous season, 2017/18, saw revenue of over Sh1.3 billion ($575 million), equating to the same amount brought in from coffee, tea and tobacco combined.