UNTIL last Saturday, the government had purchased 10,769 million kilogrammes of cashew nuts worth over 35.5bn/-.
The Minister for Agriculture, MrJaphet Hasunga, said that since the purchasing exercise began, at least 35.5bn/- was paid to a total of 34,938 farmers.
He elaborated that farmers in Lindipocketed 12bn/- , Ruvuma (4.9bn/-) and Mtwara (17.9bn/-).
He said until last Saturday, a total of 212 out of all 504 cooperative unions in the three southern regions were evaluated. So far, among those assessed, 157 had already been paid.
Mr Hasunga noted that the exercise of evaluating cashew farmers for payments had gained momentum as number of teams assigned to the task had increased from 11 to 20.
Speaking at a media briefing session yesterday, Mr Hasunga said a team of experts had already arrived in Coast Region for the assessment exercise.
Coast Region becomes the fourth in the list after similar ones in Lindi, Mtwara and Ruvuma.
Recently, the government decided to procure all this year's cashew harvests after the traders failed to raise their prices as requested by President John Magufuli.
The President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF), ordered the army to use its trucks to collect all cashew nuts and store them in designated warehouses as authorities were looking for markets.
The move comes just days after Dr Magufuli fired Agriculture Minister Charles Tizeba and Trade Minister Charles Mwijage for "failing in their obligations" to the cashew industry.
The President also ordered Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank to release the necessary funds for the purchase of the cashews.