TANZANIA – Tanzania’s Chamwino District Council is set to complete a US$13.11 million (Tsh30 billion) wine plant by 2020 to provide grape farmers in Dodoma region with a ready market for their commodity, reports theCitizen.
The plant will have a capacity of 15,000 metric tons of juice, 40,000 tons of concentrate grape, 60,000 tons of bulk wine and 10,000 tons of raisin grape per year, employing over 100 people both directly and indirectly.
Construction set to begin before the end of the year, will be done on a 67 acres plot of land.
The processor will address challenges faced by grape farmers in the country including over production and falling prices that have altogether affected investments in the sector.
Farmers are also unable to repay loans received from TIB Investment Bank and UTT Microfinance Plc two years ago for grape production.
“Once we complete this factory, grape farmers in Dodoma and other parts of the country will have a reliable market for their commodities,” said Chamwino District Deputy Agricultural Officer, Aithan Chaula.
Despite the fact that Tanzania is the second largest producer of wine in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa, it has not gained caption at the international scene due to poor coordination in the sector.
The government entered the market with the formation of the Dodoma Wine company, as grape growing was primarily limited to missionaries.
It was until then the sector started attracting investors mainly from South Africa, when Distell Group acquired a stake in Tanzania Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of Tanzania Distillers Limited (TDL).
TDL which acquired the Dodoma Wine company and some of its government brands, holds the largest share of the wine market in the country.
Central Tanzania Company was started in 2002 by an Italian engineer, pushing Tanzania’s wine exports 900 times more between 1998 and 2013.
Dodoma is the country’s major grape growing region with common varieties as Chenin Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and local variety, Makutupora.