TANZANIA has secured a market for biological pesticides in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, thanks to the Kibaha-based Tanzania Biotech Product Limited plant.
The National Development Corporation Director General, Prof Damian Gabagambi, told ‘Daily News’ at the ongoing 43rd Dar es Salaam Trade Fair yesterday that the market for biolarvacide would enable the company to produce to its full capacity.
The pesticide production firm, a unique one in Africa, was constructed jointly by the governments of Tanzania and Cuba at a cost of 22.3 million US dollars for the major objective of fighting malaria.Prof Gabagambi said that SADC countries had resolved that the biological pesticides in the regional bloc be obtained from Tanzania.
He said that the decision by the SADC member countries to purchase pesticides from Tanzania had come at a right time and could be easily implemented through the Medical Store Department (MSD) , which had been approved to procure medicines and other medical equipment on behalf of the grouping’s members .
During the 39th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community which will be held in the country in August this year, participants have been scheduled to visit the pesticide production firm at Kibaha in Coast Region.
The DG said that the Kibaha- based Tanzania Biotech Product Limited is the only company in Africa that produces biotech products for killing mosquito larva.
He noted that plans were underway by Eswatini (Swaziland) to procure biolarvicide worth 5 million USD. “The process to export the pesticide are progressing well,” he revealed.
Prof Gabagambi also named other countries which have been purchasing the pesticide from Tanzania as Angola and Niger, noting that Mozambique and Kenya have also shown interest to make purchases.
He said that the factory had the capacity to produce 6 million litres of biological pesticide per year but so far it has produced only 570 litres, and therefore still has room for expansion.
The DG explained that when the factory started production, it was expected that the pesticide could be purchased by the government but there were some delays, noting that the Ministry of Finance and Planning purchased 60,000 litres worth 700m/- .
“All district councils have purchased the pesticide worth 1.8 bn/- including the one procured by President John Magufuli worth 1.3bn/-.” he stated.
Prof Gabagambi said that the factory had the capacity to produce enough pesticides but lack of reliable market was a big challenge, saying: “Efforts made by the government to encourage the use of the pesticide in fighting malaria and dengue fever are expected to boost production.”
The DG, however, said that NDC will use this year’s Saba Saba exhibitions to market its two strategic projects - Tanzania Biotech Product and the Tractor Assembly Plant.
He stated that, basing on this year’s theme, ‘Agro Processing for Sustainable Development’ , the two projects were crucial in promoting the country’s industrialisation drive.
Prof Gabagambi said that the pesticide project was crucial in ensuring that Tanzanians were protected from malaria and dengue fever so that they can participate fully in production activities.
He added that the tractor assembly project will help Tanzanians to shift from hand hoe cultivation to mechanisation to produce enough for the people and industries.