Dar es Salaam — The government on Monday said six large and eight small-scale factories in Mtwara and Lindi Regions processed some 3,917.39 tonnes of cashew nuts from November 2018 to September this year.
The factories employ a total of 3,511 workers, the Industry and Trade permanent secretary, Prof Joseph Buchweishaija, said in a statement.
"Since President John Magufuli announced the government's decision to buy cashew nuts from farmers on November 12 last year, value addition to the product in Mtwara and Lindi regions is promising," said Prof Buchweishaija.
Large processing industries, which the government entered agreements with are, Amama Farmers, Perfect Cashew, Hawre Investment, Al-Andalus, Micronix and Korosho Africa.
The small industries include, Siwa Food Products, Mama Vitu Super Cashewnut, Mikindani Food Processing, Akross, Mtwara and Kitama Farmers, Waigero, Buco Investment Holdings and Uwakoru.
By September 23, Prof Buchweishaija said, large factories processed 3,309.64 tonnes cumulatively. As it is, he added, they created about 2,511 jobs, with women taking a lion's share the employment. For their part, he pointed out, small factories processed some 607.75 tonnes under the period of review.
As it stands, according to him, some 1,000 jobs were created.
"The figures augur well with the government's industrialisation drives," he said, calling on producers to increase production and so, is the value addition.
"We need to do all in our powers to ensure that all of cashew nuts produced in the country are processed, with a view to creating a room for more foreign currency and employments."
In an effort to walk the talk on its commitment to enable value-adding to locally-produced cashews, the government - working through the Cereals and Other Produce Board - entered into contracts with large processing industries and the state-owned Small Industries Development Organisation (Sido) on behalf of small processors.