Raw cashew nuts will be sold at the price 37 meticais per kilo (about 58 cents of the US dollar) down from 43 meticais in 2021 following an agreement reached on Wednesday between farmers and processors for the upcoming marketing season.
Figures released at the end of the consultation meeting held in Maputo show that, initially, producers demanded the price of 41 meticais per kilo, against the 30 meticais proposed by the Cashew Industrial Association (AICAJU).
The deputy-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Olegario Banze, explains that there are plenty of cashew nuts in the supply chain.
He pointed out that the price set for this marketing g season was influenced by the weak demand in the international market, where there are still high stocks of nuts from the previous year, estimated at more than a million tonnes.
These stocks as well as the entry of new players in cashew nuts production, such as Ivory Coast, and inflationary pressures generated by the Russian-Ukrainian war have contributed to a slowdown in the international market, at a time when countries such as Mozambique need to sell their production.
Overall, the country expects to produce around 150,000 tons of raw cashew nuts this year, an increase of about 7 percent compared to last year’s production.
Banze was unable to give an estimate of the quantity of cashew nuts to be processed domestically, mainly because of low prices on the international market do not encourage domestic processing.
Even so, he was optimistic about maintaining the jobs generated by the processing industry. In fact, none of the processors did not show any intention of laying off workers.
However, he expressed his reservations about whether domestic processing and consumption could be an alternative to low prices on the international market.
“The problem is that low prices at the moment also affect processed nuts. We believe that this is a cycle that will pass quickly, hence we think there is no need for panic,” he said.
In Mozambique, cashew production is a strategic crop for the economy. It is a source of income for more than 1.4 million small farmers.