Cashews are a major export crop for Tanzania and a significant source of income for many small farmers. Tanzania produces about 200,000 tons of cashews a year considered one of the best quality cashews in the world. Value addition in the form of processing of raw cashew and capacity building in this sector is wanting. The lack of local processors in Tanzania means there are very few jobs created from this valuable commodity; cashews are an important foreign exchange earner for the country.
Fahad Awadh is a 29-year old entrepreneur from Tanzania who is changing the world for the better.
Growing up, Awadh attended St. Christopher’s, a private British school in Bahrain, where he lived for 8 years. Awadh got accepted to an International Business and Technology program at the age of 11. It was a foundational experience that instilled and nurtured in him an entrepreneurial spirit. He started learning about Accounting, Business Marketing and Entrepreneurial studies from a young age. By the age of 12 he had created a business with a product.
He went on to study Business Marketing at York University. While at university he started making t-shirts with two friends, Lavado Stubbs and Momarr Taal (recently Forbes Africa 30 under 30). They called it Malyka Clothing, which means Angel in Swahili. It was all about positive, powerful messages and it became popular in Toronto. They were distributing in Canada, The Bahamas and Gambia. He traveled to Bangladesh and secured a manufacturing contract to produce their pieces from the cut & sew stage. This gave them more creative control over the product and allowed them to expand their line.
Awadh has set up a cashew processing company based in Tanzania to bring international standards and traceability to the cashew nuts. He is the founder of YYTZ Agro-Processing, a cashew processing company that is adding value locally while creating jobs. The company’s flagship processing facility in Zanzibar has an installed capacity of 2,500 Tons per annum. Within two years of starting his business, Fahad Awadh got named one of 30 entrepreneurs to watch in Africa by Forbes magazine, and received a US$500,000 grant from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund to set up another facility in Mtwara.
“I didn’t know much about cashew so I dug deep and found that while Tanzania is one of the largest cashew producing countries in the world, about 90% of its cashews are exported in its raw form to India and Vietnam where they are processed and re-exported to developed markets. That really stood out for me.”
The “why” for us starts with the smallholder farmer: we are building a cashew value chain that includes smallholder farmers. Our goal is to uplift farmers [and]… to export a finished product that offers traceability to consumers and provides value to rural farmers. I want you to visit Singida region in four to five years and see a change in the livelihood of the rural farmers
YYTZ Agro-Processing wants to set itself apart from other cashew processing facilities. The focus of its cashew processing plant is to focus on high quality nuts and efficiency. By integrating the roles of processor and importer its able to offer the best cashews delivered to the door. YYTZ in-depth knowledge of raw nut quality and crop profiles allows it to offer the best product to its clients.
YYTZ fully mechanized processing facility operates under superior safety and hygiene rules and regulations, while concurrently, it will also transfer the experience, skills and technologies successfully applied in Vietnam operations to its Tanzania operation.
Its efforts enable it to shorten process times, lower control points, and use precision grading and sorting to deliver more consistent quality cashews, customized cashew ingredients as well as organic-certified varieties. Its facility operates to HACCP standards, enabling it to offer its customers full traceability to international standards.
YYTZ Agro-Processing is a full service cashew processing company dedicated to consistently producing high quality cashew nuts by selecting high quality raw cashews from Tanzania, operating modern equipment for processing, maintaining a work environment that exceeds the highest international food standards.
YYTZ Agro-Processing is a limited company owned by its two co-founders Fahad Awadh and Ali Awadh. The processing facility factory manager has over 10 years experience in the cashew processing industry, leading an experienced group of machine operators.
Also published on Medium.