THE Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) has unveiled a plan to build capacity for local cashew nut processors, to enable them increase production and value addition to the cash crop.
TADB Managing Director Japhet Justine said here during a tour of Kitangari Village in Newala District, Mtwara Region.
He inspected cashew nut processing activities, by small scale processors, stressing that capacity building for the crop processors was the bank's top priority.
Speaking to members of an association dubbed 'Kitangari Tulinge Women Development Association' (Klof TUWEDEA), Mr Justine said TADB valued the contribution of small scale processors of cashew nuts, adding that the bank was ready to support them through soft loans in a bid to increase efficiency in their production activities.
"Value addition to crops produced in the country is the number one priority at TADB, which recognizes the contribution of small scale holders in facilitating realization of the objective," he said.
Mr Justine added that TADB also intends to help small scale producers in finding markets through their cooperatives; this will help in revolutionizing agriculture.
He pointed out that the bank planned to extend loans to small scale processors in the form of modern machines, including dryers, cleaners and sorting machines.
"We will make sure that you get quality and modern machines in order to increase quantity and quality of cashew nuts," he said.
Speaking during the tour, farmers thanked the government for the decision to buy raw cashew nuts at 3,300/- per kilo, saying the move had given them an assurance of income.
A member of KITUWEDEA, Fatma said the move by the government to purchase cashew nuts had motivated farmers in the district.
"We thank President John Magufuli for his intervention and for the decision he made to purchase cashew nuts; now we have reliable income," she said.