Tanzania: MP Warns Finance Minister From Visiting Mtwara, Lindi Over Cashew Nut Levy

Cashew nuts.

Dodoma — The Member of Parliament for Tandahimba, Mr Ahmad Katani (CUF) has warned the Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Phillip Mpango over visiting Mtwara and Lindi regions if the government proceeds with its plans to change the law governing cashew nut funds.

The government is proposing to change the Cashewnut Industry Act (Cap,203) - through the Finance Bill 2018 - with a view to ensuring that export levies are collected in the consolidated fund.

This will be a shift from the existing situation whereby 65 per cent of the crop export levy is remitted to farmers through the Cashew nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) and the government remains with 35 per cent of it.

Debating the government's Sh32.5 trillion 2018/19 budget for the financial year 2018/19, Mr Katani said the cashewnut money that MPs were asking for was their rightful share in accordance with the law.

"MPs from southern regions have every reason to speak highly of cashew nuts because the crop make the backbone of people's economy in those areas... If you do not give us this money, do not go to Mtwara and Lindi. You are taking our money yet you do not care about us. We need our money," Mr Katani said emotionally.

He said last year, Tanzania produced a total of 265,000 tonnes of cashew nuts out of which, 192,000 tonnes was from Mtwara and Lindi.

He said choosing ministers out of nominated MPs was proving a challenge, saying nominated legislators do not have a constituency and therefore, they do everything to please the executive arm.

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