Cashew board dismisses Indian traders’ claims

Cashew nut fruits
As India is blaming Tanzania for its drastic reduction in cashew nuts import, claiming that the produce is auctioned at a high price, the Cashew nuts Board of Tanzania (CBT) is disputing the claims.

The board’s Dar es Salaam branch manager, Mr Mumi Ayubu, has said there was no truth in the claims raised by Indian companies.

 “There might be problems with information about the prices of cashew nuts. We are worried with the middlemen who are used by Indian traders to buy the crop,” said Mr Ayubu

He said the Indian traders had no direct contact with the board, hence, falling prey to middlemen that use the loophole by profiteering on the commodity.

According to Mr Ayubu, in  May last year, the board decided to raise the farm gate price of every kg of cashew nuts from 800/- to 1,200/- in order to cover some costs that farmers incur.

“You can imagine, is that the price to discourage the traders, sure, it cannot be,” said Mr Ayubu.

Last week, Indian traders claimed that Tanzania had just increased its price per tonne from US $900-1,000 sold last year to $1,500 — much higher than  ceiling price of $1,100 per tonne.

Cashew nuts
Mr Ayubu  said the price of cashew nuts could not be increased to that level and that the government had pegged the price of a kilo of cashew nuts at a dollar.

On the other hand, he noted that issues like the global financial crisis and the India rupee  could cause problems to cashew nut trade between Tanzania and India.

Citing that whatever goes wrong in the world market about cashew nuts, it directly affects Indian cashew nuts import and Tanzania cashew nut export, as, to date, Tanzania only exports cashew nuts to India.

The board is planning to address some challenges by encouraging farmers to increase cashew nuts production by replacing old species, encouraging individuals to invest in cashew nuts processing industries at home, and expand the cashew nuts farming to other areas.
Source: The Citizen, www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Felix Lazaro, 

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