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Prime Minister opens cashew factory
The factory creates work for 100 people, mainly women.
07. maj 2007
To the sound of drums under a huge mango tree, a lot of farmers, guests, officials and security officers made up the scene for the opening of the Michael Lund Cashew Processing Centre in Tanzania on Saturday the 5th May. The ceremony was led by Prime Minister Edward Lowassa.
The 690 members of UVUKI, a Cooperative union and an MS-Tanzania partner, are now owners of a factory which provides access to a better market for their cashew nuts. The set-up is unique to Tanzania, as it is the only cashew processing factory solely owned by the farmers themselves.
The Prime Minister congratulated the farmers on their factory, which will give them the means to process and sell the cashew nuts at much higher prices than they would be offered by buyers of raw cashew nuts.
The executive secretary of UVUKI, Moshi Mnaki, explained that the factory will help the farmers avoid the very chaotic market for raw cashew nuts and create 100 jobs, mainly for women, in an area with very high unemployment.
However, Mr. Moshi also stresses a major obstacle: the lack of electrical power and the very limited cooperation by the electrical power supplier, TANESCO, in providing electricity, even though the main power-line is visible from the new factory. The Prime Minister promised to look into the power issue.
Prime minister Lowassa reveals the inauguration plaque for the factory.
MS-Tanzania has contributed with money, capacity building and a development worker, Mogens Krog, who has facilitated the development of UVUKI and the factory and is now market advisor for UVUKI.
“Our next goal is to become a Fair Trade-certified organisation”, says Mogens Krog.
The Michael Lund Cashew Processing Centre is situated 60 kilometres west of the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, and is named after a former development worker, who was tragically killed in a car accident.