TAFICO sails out of capital turbulence

TANZANIA Fishing Corporation (TAFICO) is sailing in the right direction after battling a lack of capital violent storm for almost two decades.

The revamping of TAFICO, a deep-sea fishing firm, already started and in the coming budget, the government is set to inject 3.4bn/-.

The amount is designed for purchasing a new 22 metres fishing trawler with a capacity of handling 90 tonnes of fish.

According to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Permanent Secretary, Prof Riziki Shemdoe the plan is to see TAFICO operates as a commercial entity and contributes 200bn/- to the treasury in the next ten years.

“The plan is to engage the private sector too in raising capital in our bid to revive TAFICO,” Prof Shemdoe told Daily News last Thursday.

The government uses three sets in engaging the private sector, being by way of selling its stake, Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Build Own and Transfer (BOT).

Additionally, the amount set aside in the coming fiscal year will also construct a cold warehouse for storing fish and the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle among other items on improving TAFICO which its privatisation bid intention failed.

TAFICO operated successfully for 22 years and was lined up for privatisation in the mid-1990s, however, failed to secure an investor.

The state owned enterprise (SOE) seized to operate in 1998 when generated revenue of 503,041 US dollars. The 1998 revenue was high compared to 237,166 US dollars in 1987 because TAFICO bought two new fishing vessels MFV Mama TAFICO and MFV Sadani.

The firm targeted fish prawns for the export market and finfish for the domestic market. Also, TAFICO in its 10-year plan has various projects to be implemented in phases that will boost GDP and create about 20,000 jobs starting next year.

Prof Shemdoe said also that the government has set aside 3.4bn/- in the 2023/24 financial year to revive TAFICO and boost its contribution to economic growth. Further, in efforts to address post-harvest losses, TAFICO will establish sardine and small pelagic fish processing projects to dry about 80 to 100 tonnes of sardines per month.

Available statistics show that there have been up to 40 per cent post-harvest losses of fish during huge harvest. In the new strategic plan, TAFICO working on resuming exports by 30 per cent in five years about 30,000 tonnes annually.

Prof Shemdoe also said that the initiative comes after securing 2.6bn/- from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for turning around the firm, once a pride of the country.

Currently, TAFICO plans to purchase five long-liners fishing vessels plan and pondering the decision to have two multi-gear fishing vessels -long line/Purse Seine.

“We expect within the second year after implementation that’s project commissioning to start seeing the fruits of the project,” said Prof Shemdoe.

The implementation starts next year. TAFICO has about 200 permanent staff. The government’s future plan is to promote the development of the fishing industry and ensure fishing operations extend to the Tanzanian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and beyond in order to capitalise on the richness of the deepsea fishery.

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