A PLEDGE by the government to procure all cashew nuts at a price of 3,300/- per kilogramme started bearing fruit as over 4,000 tonnes of the cash crop were received in Lindi by yesterday afternoon.
Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Godfrey Zambi revealed in the region when the newly appointed Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga, his deputy, Mr Innocent Bashungwa along with the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Joseph Kakunda visited regions of Lindi, Mtwara and Ruvuma to verify all cashew nuts stored in major warehouses.
Such a move comes following President John Magufuli's directive of handling the task; two days after the ministers were sworn-in to fill the position at the State House in Dar es Salaam on Monday.
According to Mr Zambi, the visit shows the government's clear intention in overseeing the welfare of its people through the spirit of hard work.
"Up to this moment, we have received 4,453 tonnes and they are all stored here at BUKO warehouse (Cashewnut Processing Factory) and the exercise is still ongoing," said Mr Zambi.
He also revealed that the President's order of mandating the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) to oversee the process by guarding all warehouses, transporting and processing the produce has begun.
In the areas where cash crop will require transportation, Mr Zambi pointed out that the military will oversee that the exercise is carried out smoothly.
"From this instance onwards, the cash crop will be procured by the Cereals and Other Produce Body using funds from the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) through their cooperatives," observed the RC.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr Innocent Bashungwa, who visited Lindi Region, observed that the President is working day and night to ensure that the country attains its vision of becoming a middle income economy through industrialisation.
"His intention is to uplift Tanzanians of which majority are less privileged people engaged in agriculture, fishing and livestock.
"With the speed that the President wants the country to move, about 70 per cent of people will be uplifted by engaging in agriculture," said Mr Bashungwa.
The President has constantly been emphasising on the need to make a linkage of our industries and agriculture to create value addition of crops to strengthen production and create more jobs.
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Joseph Kakunda stressed on the need for people to observe patriotism for the good of the country, in ensuring that the people do not incur any losses for their resources.
Mr Kakunda said the reason the President mandated the TPDF to operate BUKO is because of their patriotism.
Other top officials with the Ministry of Agriculture who accompanied the ministers include the Permanent Secretary (PS), Eng Mathew Mtigumwe and the Deputy PS, Prof Siza Tumbo.
Tasks will include scrutinising the warehouse's supervisory bodies currently overseen by the Warehouse Receipt Regulatory Body (WRRB), the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) and the Cereals and Other Produce Body.
The officials will also examine the report on the quality of the warehouses as per the WRRB indications along with its capacity. They will also take stock of existing cashew nut as well as going through the available warehouse report.
During their working visit, they will be accompanied by officials from regional and district offices, the Cashew nut Board of Tanzania (CBT), Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) and WRRB.