TANDAHIMBA, Newala Cooperative Union (TANECU) has sold nearly 5390 tonnes of raw cashew nuts worth 11.6bn/, including 710 tonnes that had been rejected by middlemen on claims that the produce were not of good quality.
The produce were sold out at the tenth auction held in Newala over the weekend at prices ranging between 2,100/- and 2,307/- per kilogramme.
Speaking during the auction, the Vice Chairman of TANECU Mr Shaibu Njauka said that the cashews were sold at such prices due to low turnout of buyers.
“The highest price was 2,307/- per kg and lowest was 2,100/-. The farmers agreed to bid their produce at the prices,” he said, noting that all the 5,394 tonnes had been stored at the TANECU warehouses.
Acting Director General of the Cashew Nut Board of Tan zania, Mr Alfredy Francis urged farmers to ensure cashew nuts are well preserved post-harvest to maintain the quality of the produce and attract good prices.
He said some of the cooperative unions have been receiving low quality cashew nuts due to poor storage and handling by farmers post-harvest.
Earlier, the buyers refused to bid for the 710 tonnes of cashew nuts at the 9th auction held in Tandahimba District, claiming that the produce had excess moisture beyond standards and were likely to rot.
The CBT later conducted quality inspection and declared the merchandise clean and first grade quality, and urged buyers to purchase the cashews at the next auction.
CBT Quality Control Officer, Jane Nindi said the inspection conducted by CBT quality experts revealed that the cashew nuts were of first grade quality with good moisture content.
“According to the quality inspections we have just conducted, the cashew nuts are clean and of first grade,” she said.
TANECU Vice Chairman, Mr Njauka expressed disappointment over claims by buyers, saying they had bad intention of lowering the prices, thus, exploiting the farmers.
“It is very disappointing to hear the claims by buyers that our cashews were not of good quality, this is not true since we have never messed up with the quality of the cashews that we trade at the auctions, they are always clean and of first grade quality,” she said.
He asked the government to intervene and take stern measures against buyers with bad intentions of wanting to paint bad images on cashews from Tandahimba and Tanzania in general.
“I urge the concerned bodies and the government to take stern measures against buyers of our cashews and others with bad intention of tarnishing our good image of cashews nut businesses,” he said, adding that those doubting the cashew nuts produced from Tandahimba should be called and asked to prove their claims.