DAR ES SALAAM - President Benjamin Mkapa has urged Tanzanians to boost the quality and output of cashewnuts, now the country's leading foreign exchange earning crop, state-owned radio reported.
Addressing cashewnut industry stakeholders at the southern region of Mtwara on Saturday, Mkapa directed government authorities to give incentives to investors, particularly for cashewnut processing plants, the radio said.
Mkapa said cashewnut production increased from 16,829 tonnes in 1989/90 season to 121,207 tonnes in 1999/2000. The country earned 10 million dollars from cashews in 1990 and 124 million dollars last year.
The increase in output is up by 620 percent, while the increase in
earning is up by 1,140 percent, Mkapa said, adding:
first time since 1998, cashewnut was now the leading foreign exchange
He said there was potential for raising the output by four-fold if researchers, farmers, investors and the government worked towards realising that goal.
Mkapa stressed that processed cashewnut, not raw seeds, should be exported to enable the country earn more in international markets.