Mozambique plans to return to the cashew nut production levels it had in the 1970s over the next five years, said the national director of the National Cashew Institute (INCAJU).
Ilídio Bande, quoted by Mozambican newspaper O País, also said that funds provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as a 60 million meticais credit line (about US$1 million) for producers, will encourage commercial production of cashew nuts.
The commercial production of cashew nuts increased from around 80,000 tonnes in 2014 and 2015 to around 142,000 tonnes in 2018/2019, and the national director of Incaju said that the distribution to producers of new seedlings in the last decade will have a positive effect on production.
Bande pointed out that, in addition to producing new seedlings to replace endangered or diseased trees, “we are annually spraying about 5.5 million cashew trees against pests and diseases.”
The country has 17 plants to process cashew nuts with a capacity of 105,000 tonnes, and in 2018 at least 60,000 tonnes were processed in these units.
Mozambique was one of the world’s largest producers of cashew nuts until the 1970s, with an annual production of around 200,000 tonnes, particularly in the northern part of the country, most notably Nampula province.
After the country’s independence in 1975, there was a deep crisis in the sector, with nationalisations leading to the closure of many processing plants and an increasing scarcity of raw materials due to the aging of the cashew groves.
The pests and diseases that struck the trees further aggravated the problem, so that Mozambique disappeared from the international cashew map for years. (Macauhub)