TANZANIA – Recognizing the opportunity in the cashew and grapes sub-sector, the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) is setting out to support investment in the sub-sectors through a Processor – Producer Partnership Project.

To this end TADB has called for submission of proposal from sector players who will follow a market-led and demand driven private sector development approach.

In line with the bank’s Integrated Agricultural Value Chain Financing (IVCF) Model, key stakeholders in the project will include producer groups (smallholder farmers, women and the youth), input and technology suppliers, research and business support institutions.

It will also feature warehouse operators who will act as aggregators of grapes produced; and grapes processors who will be the main off-takers of grapes from producer groups.

According to the State-owned agricultural lender, the Producer Grapes Partnership Project will be undertaken in Dodoma, Tanzania, while the Processor – Led Cashew Development Project will be in major cashew producing regions of Tanzania i.e., Mtwara, Lindi, Ruvuma, Coast, and Tanga.

Key focus areas of the project will be coupling investments in enhancing the productivity of smallholder farmers and facilitating the establishment of and building the capacity of farmer’s cooperatives.

Through this they will respond to demand of the commodities by local processors and potentially respond to growing demand in regional markets.

The project will place particular focus on empowering women and the youth to be active participants in cashew and grapes production by facilitating equitable ownership of productive resources and benefits therefrom.

Tanzania cashew nut production is expected to reach 222,400 tonnes in 2020/2021 while for grape’s is targeted to reach 22,000 by 2024/2025 season

Further to that, it aims to increase capacity for cashew aggregation and marketing by building capacity for produce collection, Improved market access for farmers, and establish business relations between producers and processors.

In a bid to add value to the commodities, capacity for processing will be increased, with existing grapes processing facilities modernized.

“Project implementation is expected to be formalized through partnership agreements/joint MOU which will define project scope and specific responsibilities and deliverables for each partner.

“A joint project implementation team ought to be formed to ensure effective implementation and with specific reporting structure,” indicated TADB

The approved proposals will be funded according to the bank’s criteria for funding of agricultural projects (short-term, medium-term and long-term loans).

Tanzania cashew nut production is on the decline while grapes production is booming

Tanzania is among the world’s largest producers of raw cashew nuts, having earned US$575 million (about TSh1.3 trillion) for the export of 313,000 tonnes of cashew produced in 2018, before declining to 225,304.98 tonnes in the next season 2018/2019, due to changes in weather partners and spread of crop diseases in the plantations

The sector further registered a decline in production in 2019/2020 reaching 232,681.8 tonnes.

Prior to commencing the 2020/2021 season, the East African nation has forecasted that its production would rise to 278,000 tonnes.

However, CBT has revised the projections indicating that the country’s production in the coming season will be short of the target by 55,600 tonnes going down 20%.

With the new projections, cashew nut projection is expected to reach 222,400 tonnes less by over 10,000 tonnes compared to the previous season’s volumes.

To this end, the announced TADB project is one of the interventions by government to increase cashew nuts production in the country following decline in yields in the last five years.

Meanwhile for grape production, Tanzania produced 16,139 tonnes of grapes in 2018/2019, rising by 114 per cent from 7,527 tonnes produced in the 2013/14 season.

The government’s production plan, however, is to reach 22,000 during 2024/2025 season.