Dar es Salaam — The government has granted permission to for use of Tanzania’s principal port of Dar es Salaam to ship cashew nuts that are exported outside the country.
Earlier this year the government announced all cashew nuts will be exported through the Mtwara port, stating that Dar port Dar Port was congested.
Announcing the decision yesterday, Agriculture deputy minister Mr Hussein Bashe said the access of empty containers and severe increase of freight charges were among the challenges facing the Mtwara Port for exporting cashews produced in Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma regions.
He said traders are charged between $120 and $190 for transporting one tonne of the produce at the Mtwara Port which is about $100 more when compared to $74 charged to a similar consignment at the Dar es Salaam Port.
“The shortage of containers is a global issue caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and the shift in global supply chain making it more expensive to transport cargo using the Mtwara Port,” he said.
“Following these challenges, President Samia has instructed the use of both (Mtwara and Dar es Salaam) ports in order to give traders choices of export ports and reduce costs of transportation.”
Mr Bashe who doubles as Nzega Urban MP said the decision also aims at meeting the global market window, saying Tanzania cashew season ends in the early months of the following year before buyers turn to other markets including Ivory Coast.
According to him, there will be enough flexibility, noting that the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) is there for provision of export permits to ensure all the 47,000 tonnes of cashews are immediately exported.
“This year cashew prices haven’t fallen, it is at the average of $1.3; $1.4 and $1.6 per Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) price. Following the President’s decision, the ministry believes that buyers will resume the market as well as start offering competitive and just prices,” he said.
He said the government wasn’t planning to make any intervention in the cashew competitive market, noting, however that the belief was that fairness would prevail during auctions after the sone of the challenges have been addressed.
Mr Bashe said earlier, the government reduced wharfage charges from one percent to 0.5 percent; providing containers storage containers from 14 days to 60 days that was extended to the whole season by the Tanzania Ports Authourity (TPA) in order to attract business at the Mtwara Port.
Handling charges and costs charged to ship owners have also been reduced by over 33 percent.