THE government has invited local and foreign investors to invest in sugar production as Tanzania needs 260,000 tonnes of sugar, including 155,000 tonnes of industrial sugar to get foreign currency.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba said this during his one-day visit to TPC Sugar Company, where he also inspected the production of sugar and was made aware of the challenges facing the company.
“We need 105,000 tonnes of sugar for domestic consumption and 155,000 tonnes of industrial sugar. We have enough land in Rufiji – about 160,000 hectares. We have good land in Musoma and Malagarasi in Kigoma and other regions that can be used in production,” he said.
He noted that apart from available land for sugar production, there was a reliable market for it, adding that since independence in 1962 there had been no factory in the country that produced such amount of sugar, so its needs increased daily.
“Before visiting the TPC factory, we were told that our production cost is high. In fact, this is similar to many countries, except that in those countries many people sell it at a high price and export it at a low cost,” he said, warning that such a commercial approach was detrimental to local industries.
Mr Mgumba noted that the government would create an enabling environment for investors interested in utilising the opportunity because they had the potential to make profit from the local market, but also go to some East African countries. TPC Chief Executive Officer Robert Baisac said he would apply for other industrial sugar investments to the company’s board to see how that could be implemented.
“As a factory, we can utilise this opportunity announced by the deputy minister on the production of industrial sugar. This matter will be presented to the board of directors to see how it could be implemented,” he said.
He added that the factory produced more than 110,000 tonnes of sugar per year. The need for sugar in the country per year is estimated to be 670,000 tonnes, whereas 515,000 tonnes are for domestic consumption and 155,000 tonnes for industrial use.
Sugar production for five local plants in 2018/19 is estimated to be 353,651 tonnes for domestic consumption, while no local sugar factory produces it for industrial use.