WEIGHTS and Measures Agency (WMA) has inspected and certified 2,256 weighing scales in five cashew producing regions, with 1,485 others rejected as defective.
The inspection and verification were conducted in Mtwara, Lindi, Ruvuma, Coast and Tanga regions.
During the exercise, the weighing scales of 26 districts, 1,726 villages and 623 Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives (AMCOS) were inspected and approved.
WMA Director of Technical Department Stella Kahwa told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that during the exercise, 2,256 cashewnut weighing machines were verified, with 2,224 of them being of platform type and the remaining 32 weighbridge.
Ms Kahwa stated that the 2,256 faultless weighing scales were marked with the government stickers while the defective 1,485 weighing scales were rejected.
She said WMA has been making efforts to remove all shortcomings encountered during the verification, revealing that the verifying exercise is continuous and WMA will be using their regional offices to conduct impromptu inspections and verifications.
" P e o p l e found to have tampered with the weighing scales to exploit farmers will face the wrath of the law as per the Weights and Measures Act," warned Ms Kahwa.
Some of the famers who were interviewed expressed their happiness and appreciated WMA efforts to protect their interests and curb exploitation.
They also said that they were now seeing glimmer of hope and new motivation following the exercise and good prices that the government offered.
Ms Kahwa called on all weighing scale users in primary societies and other cooperative unions to maintain the verified and approved weighing scales and contact WMA in case of any technical problem.
She said farmers should be vigilant and careful to avoid using defective weighing scales and selling their cashew nuts while still in farms, p o p u l a r l y known as Kangomba, because they are being cheated.
As of last Monday, the government had paid 83bn/- to 82,835 famers in Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma regions.
According to Agriculture Minister Japhet Hasunga, 53,835 famers have been paid in Mtwara, 22,131 in Lindi and 9,445 farmers in Ruvuma.