FILE PHOTO: A woman holds cashew nuts at a warehouse in Abidjan
ARUSHA – Tanzania has invited private companies and individuals to take part in the purchase of cashew nuts from farmers in this year's harvest season starting October, a senior official said on Wednesday. 

Joseph Kakunda, Tanzania's Industry and Trade minister, said that interested parties are also welcome to buy thousands of tonnes of nuts that the government bought from farmers in the last year's harvest season. 

The minister said that the decision has been made in light of the anticipated bumper harvest in the coming season later in the year. Kakunda said all those interested in buying cashew nuts should send their request in writing to the permanent secretary of his ministry. 

He encouraged Tanzanian cashew processors to prepare for this year's harvest so as to create jobs and also to add value to the cash crop. The minister said until now the government has collected some 221,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth about $308 million.

On Tuesday, Tanzanian Minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga, said a total of 12,378 cashew nuts farmers were yet to be verified for payment of their crop that they sold to the government. 

 In November last year, Tanzanian President John Magufuli said the government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers at the minimum price of 3,300 Tanzanian shillings per kilogram through the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank.

This was after farmers rejected lower prices which were set by the dealers.