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Tanzania is the fourth biggest producer of cashew nuts (Anacardium occidentale) in Africa and the eighth globally. Indeed, 20 percent of all cashews on the continent come from the country behind Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Guinea. The most extensive cultivation belt is along the coastline in the south of the country. Most farmers are smallholders and they process their seeds through cooperative societies. Their source of income is mainly the export of the crop across the Indian Ocean. India imports almost all the cashews from the country. Tanzania generates up to 15 percent of its total foreign exchange from this leguminous fruit.
In appearance, the cashew fruit is dual. It has an apple fruit on top that sequesters a small curved nut’s shell at its end. Though the apple makes other culinary products, it is the small nut that measures about 1.5 inches across that is important. It is the chief source of cashew nut oil.
On a historical note, the Tanzania cashew came into commercial cultivation as late as the mid-20th century. But by the early 1970s, many farmers in the country had embraced the crop which generated record sales during this period. The south has always been a major producer due to the availability of cheap labor by jobless youth. The origin of the seed, however, was in South America, particularly Brazil. The Portuguese brought it from here to Europe. They also introduced it to Tanzania in the 1500s.
Cashews are endowed with high protein at 36 percent of the daily recommendation. They also have 20 percent of the daily value of vitamin B-6 for optimum bodily metabolism. The level of iron for hemoglobin transportation in blood is 37 percent. Magnesium is the highest nutrient margin: at 73 percent of the daily needs, this mineral is good for keeping the bones strong. The fat content is 67 percent, with the saturated part being 40 percent.
We source our Tanzania cashew nuts from the coastal parts surrounding Dar es Salaam. We also source from Kilwa and Mtwara. One unifying factor we go for in all these districts is for farmers with an average 0.5 hectares of land. We also train them how to use organic soil enrichment such as well-rotted cow dung instead of fertilizers. We keep them updated on the latest production technologies and natural pest-eradication methods.
We harvest Tanzania cashew nuts when the fruit has fallen due to ripeness. Our workers clear the vegetation around the fruit and pick the nuts from them one by one. They put them into baskets and sacks. We expect about 10 kilograms of yields per tree of about eight years of age. We keep the apple fruits separate from the nuts. The former undergo processing to produce juice as well as jam. For the nuts, we take them to the threshing yard for the cracking of the five-millimeter thick shell.
We hull Tanzania cashew nuts by manual or artificial means. The former method entails the use of pressure machines to crack the outer layer to expose the kernel. This is after a steaming process where we soak the shells in water for a few hours to soften them. After this, we blow hot air on them to reduce the moisture level to about 9%. For the manual hulling method, we use hand blades to cut the shell open after using a level to ease the cutting process.
We then sort the kernels without shells into various grades. Traditionally, Tanzanians had ‘Standard,’ ‘Under,’ and ‘Rejects’ grades. On our part, we retain the standard only, which is made up of perfect kernels free of any visible blemish. They’re kept in a cool, dry place inside a waterproof material.
We pack Tanzania cashew nuts in pouches, sachets and tins after grading them. Our largest tins come with a capacity for 11.34 kilograms of the nuts. The rest of the pouches average around 10 kilos apiece. In case you want them in the shell, you can request beforehand and we will not hull them. We indicate the condition of the nuts (in shell or hulled), the net weight and the country of origin on the produce label.
We store Tanzania cashew nuts in the temperature range of 4 to 25 degrees Celsius. We maintain this same temperature during the transportation phase to the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam via our controlled environment vehicles.
The package will reach you in a day.
Thus, if you would like to avail one of the chief agricultural exports of Tanzania, then you have us to count on for supplies. Our Tanzania cashew nuts come from designate Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified farming locales on the coastline. We prepare your order months before the due date to amass your exact tonnage. You will also find our prices quite pocket-friendly. Make an order today!
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