Forum on cashew crop to focus on revival solutions

The first ever national cashew conference aimed at harnessing the potential for investment, trade and socioeconomic development in the sub-sector is scheduled to take place in Dar es Salaam on Monday.

The two-day conference themed “Invest in Cashew Processing; for job creation and Economic Growth” has been organised by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) in collaboration with Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (Ansaf), Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT) and the Cashew Board of Tanzania(CBT).

Addressing reporters in the city yesterday, Ansaf executive director Audax Rukonge said the overall goal is to put cashew crop back on its rightful place by optimising and realising its contribution on the country’s economy.

It also focuses on job creation and individual incomes through attracting meaningful investors who will enhance 100 per cent capacity in cashew processing in the country.

“The conference will identify avenues and opportunities through which chain actors can benefit and symbiotically benefit each other,” said Mr Rukonge.

One of the conference facilitators, Dr Honest Ngowi of Mzumbe University, told The Citizen that President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to officiate the event.

“People have been airing critical views about the problems affecting the cashew industry, but there is no consensus on how we can end those problems,” said Dr Ngowi.

Stakeholders will agree on milestones and roadmap on increased production capacity, and 100 per cent export of processed cashew by 2020.

Mr John Kyaruzi of TIC noted that the conference will attract local and foreign investors, private sector, financial institutions, government officials, civil society and smallholders.

“We believe that a coordinated effort between private and public sector is required across the industry’s chain to add value to the crop,” he said.

CBT’s director general Mfaume Juma said it was high time different stakeholders in the country came together in improving the industry.

He said the conference is in line with the government’s five year plan to improve local processing.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Polycarp Machira and Ludger Kasumuni from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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