Tanzania wants to grow cocoa and cashew nuts to boost regional economy

Malinyi — The District Council of Malinyi has decided to move one step forward from engaging in rice production only to growing also cash crops, such as cocoa and cashew nuts, it has been revealed.

Speaking to this paper after a teak growers’ forum organised by Kilombero Valley Teak Co Ltd in Ifakara on Wednesday, Malinyi District executive director Marcelin Ndimbwa said after a meeting the district council decided to change from depending on rice production to engaging also in cash crops.

“So, we will grow cocoa and cashew nuts in our district to boost our economy,” he said, adding: “We have already ordered 1.5 million of cocoa seedlings from a local company in Kyela District.”

According to Mr Ndimbwa, each primary school will have to plant at least three acres of cocoa and secondary schools will plant five acres of the crop. “If we start farming these two crops, people will stop depending on rice and instead they will grow cocoa or engage in cashew farming,” he stressed.

The district executive director elaborated that they had about 33 primary schools and if each of them cultivated three acres of cocoa they would achieve something. “But we have also nine secondary schools, and we want each of them to cultivate five acres of cocoa and the rest will be done by ordinary people. I think we will have crossed 200 acres. This will be a great achievement in our district,” said Mr Ndimbwa. Mr Ndimbwa noted that they had already started growing cocoa in his area and people had accepted it. “But we are still looking for a place where we can get cashew seedlings,” he explained.