TANZANIA – Sugar production in Tanzania is nearing self-sufficiency levels with annual production jumping by 70,000 tonnes to 380,000 tonnes, according to recent figures from the Sugar Board of Tanzania.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade, Dr Hashil Abdalah said that the impressive increase in sugar production could be directly attributed to the new factory in Bagamoyo District, Coast Region.
The factory was commissioned in July last year by Said Salim Bakhresa Ltd, the flag-ship company of the Bakhresa Group.
The initial phase of the project which costed US$110m, has an installed processing capacity of between 30,000 tonnes and 40,000 tonnes per year depending on the availability of raw materials.
The current sugar demand in Tanzania stands at 440,000 tons annually according to SBT data meaning that the country has to increase its production by 60,000 tons annually if it is to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar.
Tanzania however has far more ambitious plans for its sugar sector. It wants to make it Africa’s hub for sugar and has made commitments to supporting initiatives to increase sugar production.
A strategy is already in place to raise annual sugar production to 756,000 tons by 2025 through the expansion of sugar factories, mobilization of farmers to grow sugarcane and attracting investors in the sugar industry.
According to Dr. Hashil Abdalah, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade, the increase in sugar output in the country is the government’s effort to encourage and invest in the industry.
Dr. Hashil also added that apart from an increase of 70,000 tonnes of sugar last year, the sugar stock in the warehouses until now is more than 160,000 tonnes.
Dr. Abdallah said the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade is committed to ensuring that more investments open up and grow productively for the entire nation.
Early this year, the government had given a three-month deadline ultimatum to an investor, SJ Sugar Distillery and Power Private, to develop land provided for sugarcane farming.
This came after the company with Indian origins failed to plant sugar on a 4,100-acre land in Mtwara which the investor had been given a permit to produce 10,000 tonnes of sugar but part of the area was found to have grown sunflower, contrary to stipulation of the investment contract.
However, Dr. Abdallah said that said the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade is committed to ensuring that more investments open up and grow productively for the entire nation.
Part of this plan includes attracting investors to establish factories for producing industrial sugar to replace imports. Tanzania currently imports 205,000 tons of Industrial Sugar at cost of US$150 million.