DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Wednesday ordered relevant authorities to promptly pay cashew nuts growers who sold their cash crop to the government but could not be paid on time.
In a meeting with religious leaders at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, President Magufuli said he wants to see cashew nuts farmers paid promptly.
"There are sufficient funds. And there should be no red-tape in paying the farmers," said the president in the meeting broadcast live by state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.
Responding to queries by one of the religious leaders who had wanted to know reasons behind the delayed payments to farmers, the head of state directed the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade should make arrangements for the prompt payments to the farmers.
However, President Magufuli said payments should be made after verifications were done by regional commissioners, district commissioners and grassroots leaders in cashew nuts growing regions of Mtwara, Lindi, Coast, Ruvuma and Tanga.
Last week, the Minister for Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga, said the government will ensure that all cashew nut farmers would have received payment for the produce it bought from them by the end of this month.
The news raised hopes among farmers in cashew-growing regions who have been complaining of delayed payments for over two months now.
On November 12, last year, Magufuli said the government would purchase all cashew nut stocks from farmers at the minimum price of 3,300 Tanzanian shillings (about 1.44 U.S. dollars) per kilogram through the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank.
The decision was reached after the state issued a four-day ultimatum to traders to buy cashew nuts at reasonable price. This was after farmers rejected lower prices which were set by the dealers.
Tanzania harvested more than 200,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in the current farming season of the cash crop.