By Azania Post Reporter
FARMERS in Newala district, Mtwara region have failed to sell about 6,000 kilogrames of cashewnut due to being immature, the situation had denied millions of income hence retard back development.
Speaking in Newala, a farmer identified as Salum Mtolela, said this year they expected to sell about 8,000 Kg of cashew nut.
He said cashew nut farmers in the region are currently rejoicing after a 30 per cent increase in prices of their crop.
In Mtwara, the price ranges between 3,837/- and 3,585/- per kilogramme from between 2,890/- and 1,800/- per kilogramme in the previous season.
Farmers say the price increase is a result of a change in the way cashew nuts are marketed, for the crop is now sold in an auction, which allows buyers to compete, sending prices up in the process.
Tanzania is Africa's largest cashew grower after Nigeria and Ivory Coast, and the eighth biggest producer in the world. Cashews are the important export crop for Tanzania providing about ten to fifteen per cent of the country's foreign exchange.
The majority of plantations are found along the southern coast in towns like Mtwara, Lindi, Ruvuma and Pwani.
While most of the cashew trees were planted in the 1950's and 60's, more and more farmers are continuing to plant cashews. Cashews are amongst the one of the most consumed nuts in the world which are eaten as a snack or in cooking.