Dodoma — The government said yesterday it was paying Sh2,600 per kilogram for some cashew nuts due to their quality.
President John Magufuli saidon November 12, 2018 that the government would purchase all stocks from farmers at a flat rate price of Sh3,300 per kilogram through the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB).
However, since then, there have been reports that some farmers were being paid Sh2,600 instead of Sh3,300.
But clarifying on the difference, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said in Parliament yesterday that the Sh3,300 price was for grade A cashew nuts only.
"Globally, the price for grade B cashew nuts is 80 per cent of the price of grade A," said Mr Majaliwa, reiterating what the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr Omary Mgumba, said earlier this week.
Responding to a question by Liwale lawmaker Zuberi Kuchauka (CCM), Mr Majaliwa said, so far, the government has paid over Sh524 billion to cashew nut farmers, reiterating that delays in payments were a result of the verification exercise.
"We wanted to satisfy ourselves whether or not the farmers, mostly those who had brought over 1,500 tonnes, were truly the owners of the cashew nuts or not. Yesterday, we paid to farmers some Sh100 billion more," said the Premier.
However, Mr Majaliwa did not disclose the number of farmers who received the additional Sh100 billion.
Mr Majaliwa said at least Sh707. 1 billion had been allocated for the purchase of 214,269.7 tonnes of cashew nuts.
During the 2018/19 production season, some 240,000 tonnes of cashew nuts are projected to be produced.
On Monday the government extended deadline for the verification and payment of cashew nut farmers and traders to February 15, 2019.
Speaking to cashew nuts stakeholders in Mtwara on January 27, 2019, Mr Majaliwa directed that the verification exercise should be concluded by February 5, 2019.