Tanzania’s cashew nut production is growing at 450 percent (Tanzania Cashew Nut Board) with significant opportunities for investors along the value chain according to a study produced by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) with technical support from the USAID Hub. The Hub and TIC visited 16 districts and town councils where they assessed cashew nut growing and processing with stakeholders and identified investment opportunities in this critical sector.
Cashews are grown in the southern Tanzania, mainly in Mtwara, Lindi, Ruvuma and Pwani, with a total planted area of about 695,683 hectares. In 2017/2018, the country’s raw cashew nut production reached 387,936 metric tons (MT). With an additional 461,000 hectares of land in the Lindi, Mtwara, Pwani and Ruvuma regions designated either as industrial parks (green fields) or land for new cashew plantations/farming, this number is set to increase.
Yet, only raw cashew nut production is likely to grow. Of Tanzania’s cashew nut exports, 87.3 percent remain unprocessed. Tanzania mainly exports to countries like India and Vietnam which have high processing capacities. These countries, along with Brazil, then export to large markets like the U.S. where they accounted for 92 percent of shelled cashew imports between 2006-2016.
Investment in cashew nut processing is needed to change this trend. There are already 29 large and small-scale cashew processors (brown fields) in Tanzania that require joint ventures to expand their businesses. The study highlights these opportunities along with the following:
- Adding value to Tanzania’s raw cashew products through processing.
- Processing nuts (kernels) into various products
- Processing cashew apples into juices and liquors
- Squeezing cashew shells into saleable liquids
- Investing into new cashew farming/plantations and provide extension services so as to increase productivity and total tonnage.
- Opening new, large-scale cashew plantations in Tanzania
- Providing agronomic extension services to improve cashew productivity from 0.3 MT/year to 1.0 MT/year
- Investing in cashew machinery, equipment, spare parts production and supply.
- Local manufacturing of machinery or equipment to process nuts, cashew apples and cashew shells
- Manufacturing of spare parts
To build on these opportunities, the Government of Tanzania is planning an Investors’ Forum on July 5-6, 2019, in Mtwara, where the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, will be the guest of honor. To learn more in advance of the event, read the complete study here.