Mozambique: Cashew nut production to be lower than projected in 2009

20 January 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 20 Jan – Cashew nut production in Mozambique in is expected to total 90,000 tonnes in 2009 as compared to an initial projection of 100,000 tonnes due to a number of factors such as slash and burn agriculture and adverse weather conditions, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

Filomena Maiopué, director of Mozambique’s National Cashew Institute (Incaju), told the newspaper that taking into account the production of 90,000 tonnes in 2008 it was expected that production would not be less than 100,000 tonnes this year, if weather conditions were favourable.

The rise in fuel prices last year led to many producers not completing the necessary steps in spraying the cashew trees, cyclone Jokwé affected Nampula province, particularly its coastal districts and there were many slash and burn agricultural practices that got out of control and destroyed cashew trees across Mozambique.

The director of Incaju gave assurances that efforts would be made to continue improving cashew production in the country with the aim of taking a significant place in world cashew production over the next five to ten years.

At one point in the 1970s Mozambique was considered to be the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts, but by the end of the 1980s the sector saw significant drops in production due to climate factors, plant aging, pests and disease, in a situation that led to the sector’s collapse at the end of the 1990s, following the implementation of inappropriate policies recommended by the World Bank.

Over the last few years, due to work coordinated by Incaju with a view to spraying plants, on the one hand,, and replanting new pest-resistant species, on the other, the sector has seen improvements, which currently allows for average annual production of 80,000 tonnes of cashew nuts. (macauhub)