The sale of cashew nuts in the 2011/2012 season in Mozambique totalled 64,000 tons, or practically half of the 113,000 tons sold in the previous season, and the lowest amount in 10 years, according to the national director of the National Cashew Institute (Incaju).
Speaking to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias, Filomena Maiopué said that the drop in production resulted from, “what is technically called annual alternation of the cashew tree,” in which some trees see a drop in production in the following year and a progressive increase up to the fifth year.
The 113,000 tons harvested in the previous season were considered to be the peak of production of cashews in Mozambique since the country’s independence, as in the first few years of the 1970s the country was the top cashew nuts producer in the world with harvests of 270,000 tons per year.
“Afterwards factories were abandoned by their owners, the start of the civil war, uncontrolled slash and burn practices, blights and diseases led to production falling to 5,000 tons per year in the 1980s,” said Maiopué.
Maiopué also noted that the crisis in the Euro Zone and in the United States had led to consumption dropping and, as a result, a drop in the price paid to producers from an average of 19 meticals to 13-15 meticals per kilo, which led to many producers keeping production back waiting for better days.
“Of the 80,000 tons expected, only around 64,000 tons were sold, which means that there are large amounts of cashew nuts in the producers hands that it has not been possible to quantify,” noted Maiopué adding that even if the price had been good it would not have been possible to achieve the same results as in the previous year as production had been lower. (macauhub)