DAR ES SALAAM, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Friday they have set aside 2,000 hectares of land for investors wishing to invest in cashew nuts plantations and processing industries to add value to the crop.
"We have enough investment potentials in terms of plantations and processing industries for cashew nuts," said Godfrey Zambi, the Lindi Regional Commissioner.
Zambi was speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day Tanzania Cashew nuts Forum organized by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) in the east African nation's southern region of Mtwara.
The forum was aimed at attracting investors in the farming of the crop and the creation of industrial parks in Lindi and Mtwara regions.
Zambi said efforts by Lindi region to increase cashew nuts production has seen some 7 million new cashew seedlings distributed for planting in various districts.
Omary Mgumba, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, said the government targeted to increase cashew nuts production to one million tonnes by 2023-2024 financial year, up from 313,000 tonnes produced in the 2017-2018 season.
Mgumba said the government has taken measures to increase cashew nuts growing regions from five to 17 regions, adding that the government has also embarked on a huge campaign to promote domestic consumption of cashew nuts.
TIC said in a statement last month that the forum was an opportunity for international private investors to meet with the highest government authorities, to identify and seize business opportunities and to create partnerships with local economic operators.
Tanzania is among the world's largest producers of raw cashew nuts, said the statement, adding that in 2017-2018 season the country produced 313,826 tonnes of raw cashew nuts, while about 90 percent of them are exported in their raw form owing to the country's low processing capacity.
The forum will engage investors operating in the cashew nuts sub-sector to showcase various opportunities, including investing into new cashew farming, adding value to raw cashew nuts products through processing and construction of industrial parks and development of cashew nuts processing industrial zones, said the statement.