PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has ordered all cashew nuts produced in the Southern regions to be transported via the Mtwara Port, adding that the government has heavily invested in repairing and expanding the facility.
The President’s directive was issued yesterday by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on her behalf, during cashew nuts stakeholders’ meeting in Lindi region over the weekend.
The Head of State specifically mentioned the cashew nut producing regions as of Ruvuma, Mtwara and Lindi, which should specifically take the note.
Elaborating, the President directed Mtwara Port management to review charges at the city, which seem to be expensive and discourage the crop exporters from preferring the facility.
She added: “We want cashew nut exporters to start using this port from this harvesting season.”
In a related development, Mr Majaliwa said farmers should be receiving farm inputs on time and pay as it was instructed initially, adding: ” Our aim is to continue reducing burdens on farmers, therefore, you don’t have to fear taking the farm inputs.”
Equally, he encouraged the crop growers to develop a culture of selling processed products so that they get more profit, saying: “If farmers process the cashew nuts … they could earn big profits. Industries as well should expand and increase their capitals.”
Elaborating, the Prime Minister said the government would continue supporting the crop stakeholders in the country, including processors through the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).
“It is better we concentrate on processing cashew nuts instead of exporting the crop raw. We have prepared a good system to achieve this and the President has continued to lay emphasis for the construction of new industries
“Her strategy includes the government putting in place a system to ensure that every village has an Extension Officer, who would educate farmers on the best farming practices.
“Farmers lack education on best farming practices, the extension officers must not stay in their offices, and instead go to the villages to educate farmers. They should always be in the field to ensure that farmers cultivate and incorporate best practices,” he directed.
Commenting, Agriculture Minister Prof Adolf Mkenda said his ministry will continue coming up with plans and strategies suitable and aimed at increasing efficiency in the crop production.
He said one of the strategies would include education and providing proper farm inputs to the farmers on time so that they also produce yields, which meet market standards and demand.
On her part, Lindi Regional Commissioner Zainab Taleck promised to work closely with her neighbouring Regional Commissioners of Ruvuma and Mtwara to ensure that all cashew nut auctions are done honestly and with high integrity in order to empower the farmers economically.
Tandahimba Member of Parliament, Katani Ahmad Katani, who also attended the meeting, said he was pleased after getting the government’s stance, adding that he will mobilize the farmers to channel their produce through the port as directed.