Tanzania is Africa’s largest cashew grower after Nigeria and Ivory Coast, and the eighth biggest producer in the world. Cashews are the important export crop for Tanzania and an important source of income for small farmers.
MeTL Group operates one of the largest cashew processing facilities in Tanzania, Mo Cashews, based in Dar es Salaam. The company through its backward integration program offers farmers a purchasing guarantee for raw cashew nuts, as well as providing transport, logistics and storage facilities. (See Food pages). Development of currently available land in MeTL Group’s Sisal estates is also being done to increase production of cashew kernels.
Cashews are a versatile health food rich in proteins, fat and high degree of vitamins and concentration of amino acids not available in other nuts. This can also considered a rich supplement diet. The nutshell is also an alternative fuel source to firewood with high calorific value and easily combustible.
The global demand for cashews is increasing by 9% annually and Africa produces around 45% of the entire global crop. Tanzania produces about 120,000 tons and is considered one of the best quality cashews in the world and is in the top 10-world producer. Value addition and processing of raw cashew is lagging behind in the country and capacity building in this sector is necessary.
MeTL Group is exporting processed Cashew and proposed to double its trade through value addition and aggressive backward integration with farmers and also expand its own plantations and target production levels of 30,000 tons annually.