TANZANIA Agricultural Research Institute (Tari) said the country's ambition to triple cashew nut production to 1.0 million tonnes a year is workable.
Tari said the government's ambition to make the country a leading global cashew nut producer was reachable as cultivation and new seeds were encouraging.
Tari, which developed 54 disease resistance and high yield seeds, said new cultivation areas showed great potential and there was the likelihood to triple production by 2023.
Tari National Coordinator for Cashew Research, Dr Geraldina Mzena, said this year Manyoni expected to start selling the first cashew nuts after three years after the first nut was planted.
"Manyoni sets the example. This year we expect to start selling the first cashew nuts from a farm of 22,000 hectares," Dr Mzena told the 'Daily News' last week on the side lines of reporters' exhibition staged by Tari-Naliendele in Mtwara.
Dr Mzena of Tari Naliendele said besides Manyoni in Singida Region, Katavi Region also planned to start selling its cashew nuts this year.
"The new seeds are also capable of producing between 8 months and one year. This will push us to reach the target in two years," Dr Mzena noted.
Last year, Katavi Regional Commissioner Juma Homera said farmers in the region projected to harvest over 1,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in this season.
"The good news is that already farmers in the region have grown 540,000 cashew nuts on 37,000 hectares between 2018/19 and 2019/20... By the next season, farmers expect to realise over 1,000 tonnes of cashew nuts," the RC said.
The region has over 1,190,000 new cashew nut plants planted on 80,000 hectares of farmland in 2019/20 seasons.
Tari sees cashew nuts as one of the strategic crops and it wants to triple production from 313,000 to 1.0 million tonnes per year through better farming practices and quality seeds in the country's 17 regions that cultivate the crop.
To this end, Tari Naliendele has produced 54 types of seeds which can produce 20kg of cashew nuts per tree compared to traditional seeds that produce only 11kg.
The crop is mostly grown in Coast, Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma - all of which produce almost 80 per cent of the crop.
However, in recent years the crop is cultivated in 17 regions in total, including Mbeya, Katavi, Rukwa, Kilimanjaro, Singida, Mwanza, Iringa, Tabora and Tanga.
In recent years, the crop has been the most foreign currency earner in the country.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that cashew nuts generated over $565m in the 2017/18 season, exceeding contributions garnered from cotton, coffee and minerals.
Cashew nut production during the last harvesting season (2018/19, and 2019/20) stood at 225,106 tonnes and 232,682, respectively.