President Magufuli fires two ministers over cashew nut prices

President Magufuli fires two ministers over cashew nut prices

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli said the government could buy up the country’s cashew nut stock after he fired two ministers and dissolved the industry regulator in a row over the price of the commodity.

Last month, Magufuli ordered a 94 percent increase to cashew nut prices at the industry regulator’s auctions and fired the organization’s head in moves he said were aimed at safeguarding farmers from unsustainably low prices.

Cashews are the most valuable of the East African nation’s export crops, but falling prices have prompted Tanzanian farmers to halt sales, saying operational costs were higher than what was offered for the produce.

Minister of Agriculture Charles Tizeba and his trade counterpart Charles Mwijage were dropped from their posts, the presidency said late on Saturday.

Japhet Hasunga was named as the new agriculture minister while Joseph Kakunda will be in charge of trade.

The president, who had accused the cashew nut board of failing to manage the industry properly, leading to the low prices of the crop, also disbanded the board.