Mozambique needs to invest US$60 million to increase cashew production

29 April 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 29 April – Mozambique will need to invest US$60 million to return to the levels of cashew nut production achieved at the end of the 1970s, when it totalled around 200,000 tons per year, said the assistant director of the National Cashew Institute (Incaju).

Given current financial constraints, Raimundo Mathule said it was utopian to think that Mozambique could return in the short or medium terms to a privileged position in world cashew nut production, which at the moment did not reach the minimum of 100,000 tons per year needed to make any industry in the sector viable.

“Mozambique does not have the minimum capacity to do that, that is, the country does not have the financial resources to invest US$60 million in production,” said Mathule, assistant director of Incaju, which is now focusing on sapling production to replace aged cashew trees.

According to Mozambican newspaper Notícias, Mathule noted that “we will not return to production of the 215,000 tons that Mozambique produced when it had trees aged between 10 and 20 years at most in less than 10 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. (macauhub)