MOROGORO: THE government’s plan to make the country self-sufficient in sugar come 2025/2026 is slowly but surely becoming a reality as the Mkulazi Sugar Factory begins production.
Mkulazi Sugar Factory a groundbreaking joint venture by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Tanzania Prisons Service, has said it is ready to launch its sugar products into the market.
The development follows the successful completion of its machinery trials, marking a pivotal stride towards Tanzania’s self-sufficiency in sugar production and a significant boost to the national economy.
Owned by Mkulazi Holding Company Limited (MHCL), which was incorporated on September 6, 2016, the factory represents a collaborative effort between National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Prison Corporation Sole (PCS).
The majority shareholder of MHCL is NSSF at 96 per cent, with PCS holding the remaining 4 per cent.
Chairman of the Mkulazi Holding Company Board, Dr Hilderither Msita, announced the completion of the trials during a visit by the NSSF Board of Trustees.
The visit was part of an assessment to gauge the progress of the factory’s construction, a project that has captured the nation’s attention.
The NSSF and the Tanzania Prisons Service, known for their law enforcement have also been actively involved in various economic and investment initiatives. These efforts aim to generate revenue, support operations, provide vocational training for inmates, and contribute to the nation’s economic development.
The Mkulazi Sugar Factory, located in Mbigiri Village, Kilosa District, Morogoro region, has an impressive production capacity of 50,000 to 75,000 tonnes of sugar annually. This production capability is expected to significantly reduce Tanzania’s reliance on imported sugar, addressing a chronic shortage in domestic supply.
The factory’s alignment with the government’s directives was emphasised by Mwamini Malemi, Chairman of the NSSF Board of Trustees.
After a thorough review of the entire sugar production process, the Board expressed their satisfaction with the factory’s progress and confidence in a profitable return on their investment.
A notable achievement of the Mkulazi Sugar Factory is the creation of approximately 5,000 jobs, highlighting its significant impact on local employment and economic development. This contribution is particularly meaningful for Tanzania, a nation committed to expanding its industrial sector and reducing unemployment rates.
CEO of MHCL, Selestine Some, acknowledged President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s visionary leadership and strategic directives, which were crucial in steering this project to success.
The Mkulazi Sugar Factory stands as a symbol of Tanzania’s growing industrial strength and a beacon of progress in East Africa’s agro-industrial sector. As it moves towards full-scale production, the factory is poised to become a key player in the regional sugar market, propelling Tanzania towards economic resilience and prosperity.
MHCL’s primary activity extends beyond sugar production to include downstream products such as bio-ethanol, particle boards and pulp.
With its sugar project at Mbigiri Estate in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, MHCL aims to produce 50,000 MT of sugar annually at full operational capacity.
According to the Sugar Board of Tanzania, the country expects to produce about 750,000 tonnes of the sweetener, against the current 380,000 tonnes.
Currently the government is spending up to 150 million US dollars (about 3.5bn/-) to import sugar from outside the country, meaning by increasing the envisaged production, the country would save billions of shillings.
In the next two years from October last year, the board was expecting to have the producing capacity of sugar from the current 380,000 to 671,000 tonnes and that with the ongoing investments at different sugar plants countrywide, it was expected that sugar production would stand at 750,000 tonnes, an amount which is far above the target of 700,000 tonnes as directed by the CCM Election Manifesto.