Farmers have started receiving their money for cashew nuts they sold on credit in October last year. The payments came after the government extended a guarantee through Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to various cooperative Societies, which owed farmers some 54bn/-.
The Mtwara Regional Cooperative Advisor, Mr John Henjewele, told the ‘Daily News’ from Mtwara on Wednesday that the farmers have been receiving their pays through NMB bank. “The bank started releasing the funds since last week and farmers are now happy after waiting for a long time,” Mr Henjewele said.
He said it may take some few weeks for the exercise to be completed because 54bn/- was a huge amount to disburse. The government announced last month that it would guarantee the banks to pay farmers through Export Guarantee scheme of BoT after some 85,000 tonnes of cashew nuts had failed to get market, leaving farmers in frantic condition.
Under Warehouse Receipt System, some farmers were paid 70 per cent of the value of their cashew nut they submitted at cooperatives and others were not paid a single cent. According to Cashew nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) data, cooperatives that owed farmers include Tunduru Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Union (TAMCU) 3.1bn/-, Ilulu of Lindi 11.6bn/- and Masasi Mtwara Co-operative Union (MAMCU) 19bn/-.
Others are Tandahimba – Newala Co-operative Union (TANECU) 24.5bn/-, Coast Region Co-operative Union (CORECU) 4bn/-, Dare es Salaam Region Co-operative Union (DARECU) 5.1m/- and TANGA 2.3bn/-. Tanzania registered bumper harvest of 157,000 tonnes of cashew nut this season, exceeding the 1974 record of 145,000 tonnes.
By FARAJA MGWABATI, Tanzania Daily News