Tanzania

Tanzanian cashew nut dealers suffer as Magufuli deploys army

Tanzania's cashew nut dealers say President
Tanzania's cashew nut dealers say President John Magufuli's decision to order the government to purchase the crop has affected them financially. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Dar es Salaam

Tanzania's cashew nut dealers say President John Magufuli's decision to order the government to purchase the crop has affected them financially because most of them are dependent on it to run their families.

President Magufuli said on Monday [November 12] that government would purchase all stocks from farmers at a flat rate price of TSh3,300 per kilogramme (about Sh148) through the military and Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB).

The decision was reached after the government issued a four-day ultimatum to traders to buy cashew nuts after farmers rejected prices set by the dealers.

The OM Agro co-director, Mr Mashaka Msumali, said Mtwara region will be hit hard by the changes because many people will lose their jobs.

“Many people get temporary employments during cashew selling seasons, so the use of army will result into job losses,” he said.

“We planned to buy 5,000 tonnes of cashew nuts at TSh3,100 (Sh139) per kilogramme, but we are forced to scrap the plan after the president’s directive that we should not be involved in buying cashew nuts,” he said.

Borrowed funds

He said he has already hired warehouses for storing cashew nuts and other buyers have already borrowed funds from banks for buying the produce.

He said transporters will also suffer over the government decision because they will not get deals this time around.

The sales and marketing manager of Hawte Investment Limited, Mr John Joseph, said his company has already bought 12 tonnes of raw cashew, adding that they have halted buying after the government’s decision.

“We have incurred a loss because we borrowed money from banks,” he said.