Tanzania: Kagera Sugar Hailed for Self-Sufficiency in Production
By Meddy Mulisa, Bukoba
FORMER Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Investment) Angellah Kairuki has commended the Kagera Sugar Company Limited (KSL) for making Tanzania self-sufficient in sugar production.
She commended the company’s strong track record since privatisation almost two decade ago, describing it as a role model in agriculture in the country worth emulating.
Ms Kairuki said this during her one-day tour of KSL in Kagera Region on Wednesday.
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“If local producers increase their investments and enhance production to satisfy the local market, the government will be able to effectively ban the importation of sweeteners,” she said.
Citing current statistics on sugar production in the country, Ms Kairuki said national demand per year stood at 450,000 tonnes, while local factories’ production capacity was 320,000 tonnes, leaving the country with a deficit of 130,000 tonnes which must be imported.
KSL Corporate Officer Vicent Mtaki said they had made efforts to rehabilitate the factory as it was one of the factories invaded Idi Amin’s forces during the Kagera War between 1978 and 1979.
He said a privatisation process was completed almost two decades ago, but rehabilitation started two years later due to lack of funds.
He said to date KSL had investment worth 180bn/-, with sugar production standing at 105,000 tonnes per year and expected to increase production to 200,000 tonnes by year 2029/30. Mr Mtaki further said KSL had embarked on modern agricultural technology through the application of an irrigation system.
KSL was using modern digital data survey (DDS) linked to a satellite.
To date KSL had 14,500 hectares under sugarcane production, while the company expected to increase the area to 25,200 hectares by 2025.
Mr Mtaki appealed to the government to support tax exemption, including exercise duty, VAT exemption on plants and vehicles and withholding tax exemption on foreign financing.
He further said in 2020/21 KSL expected to buy addition 100,000 tonnes of sugar from out-growers, enabling them to earn at least 6bn/-.
He asked for the government’s help to construct a bridge connecting Missenyi and Karagwe districts across Kagera River.
The bridge is expected to facilitate economic development in the area.