Lindi — The government has assured cashewnut farmers that they will be smiling all the way to the bank come March 31 after completion of the verification process.
The assurance was made by the minister for Agriculture, Mr Japhet Hasunga, during a meeting with Agriculture, Livestock and Water Committee parliamentary committee members in Lindi on Saturday.
"We have learnt that bureaucracy has impeded the cashew sales exercise here, but the government has decided that all cashew farmers will be paid in full by the end of March," the minister said.
He said the verification process was nearing conclusion.
The minister disclosed that so far some 222,684 tonnes of cashew nuts have been purchased and that by March 14, Sh596.9 billion out of Sh723 billion was already paid to the farmers.
Meanwhile, the minister disclosed that the ministry was in advanced stages of appointing a new Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) directors following the disbandment of the previous board.
Besides, Mr Hasunga said the ministry has already identified unscrupulous traders who were exploiting farmers, disclosing that the government was already pondering legal action against them.
"We have identified all those traders exploiting farmers and I promise that they will all face legal action in the near future," he said.