Investors in agriculture sector have been encouraged to capitalise in wheat farming since it’s a promising area that is underutilised in the country.
The remarks were given by President John Magufuli as he was launching a new industry— 21st Century Food and Packaging—situated at Kurasini in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The 21st Century is a subsidiary of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL). President Magufuli said there used to be huge wheat plantations in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara, however, it is saddening that they currently remain idle.
“Those [wheat] plantations should not be put to waste,” he said while encouraging people to start wheat farming.
He added that this will benefit the masses with employment opportunities and it will be cheap for the manufacturing to buy the product from within the country.
He directed two ministries— the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Ministry of Agriculture—to put strategic planning that will encourage investors in and outside the country to venture in wheat farming.
“Let us start encouraging farmers and business people who are able to invest in wheat farming, with a guaranteed market…since the country imports a lot while we have arable land,” he said.
President Magufuli said there is a reliable market not only for Tanzania but also for regional market serving 500 million people from two blocs in East African Community and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He commended the investment done by Mr Mohammed Dewji, the CEO of MeTL, for the initiative that will spur the industrialisation agenda that has been embraced by the government and further fuel the drive towards semi-industrialised economy by 2025.
He stated that he is aware of all the challenges faced in the industrial sector including multiplicity of taxes from the various authorities; and assured businesspeople and investors that the government is solving them.
“We have already solved the blue print challenge, we have let go of over 168 taxes, all this is to prove that my government is serious and is set to support investors in the industrial sector,” Mr Magufuli said.
Mr Dewji said 21st Century started with a milling capacity of 240 tonnes of maize per day from an investment of 105bn/-.
The factory after expansion has reached a capacity of 300 tonnes. While on wheat the factory has a capacity to mill 1,240tonnes per day.
MeTL that owns 40 industries manufacturing various products was first established at Singida in 1969 and currently it has employed over 30 000 workers. MeTL celebrates its golden jubilee this year.