TANZANIA – Fruit farmers in the Southern highlands will soon have a market for their fruits as Coca Cola Kwanza Company plans to establish a processing industry that will use their produce from the region.
Coca Cola Kwanza Manager Gary Pay told the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mary Nagu at the weekend that the industry will start manufacturing juice by end of this year.
Pay said, currently, the company is in the process of erecting processing plants within the industry after it failed to expand the industry on grounds that the cost of rent was too high.
“Our intention was to expand the industry so that we could have a processing sub industry but we have failed due to the high rental cost. We therefore ask the ministry to help us in this matter,” he said.
He said the new juice manufacturing project would benefit more than 15,000 women who are undergoing entrepreneurship skills training.
Further, he said, of the 15,000 women 1,037 women are from Mbeya Region and are divided into ten groups.
On her part, Minister Mary Nagu commended the company for specifically targeting the women saying the move would empower them economically, adding that it would create employment opportunities and relieve farmers of transporting their produce to other regions to seek market.
“I applaud Coca Cola Kwanza’s decision to invest in the Southern Highlands, a region where there is abundance of fruits. I believe this project will make the fruit farming business more profitable and modern,” she said.
Addressing the Company’s rent issue, she said, she would direct the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) to resolve the matter quickly as the fruit project is crucial to saving the citizens from poverty.
Coca Cola Kwanza will be the second company to manufacture juice from locally grown fruits after Azam Industry.
Tanzania produces variety of fruits including oranges, mangos, pineapples, grapes but mostly on small scale basis hence not ideal for industries that need constant supply of raw materials.
Most of the consumed juice brands in Tanzania are imported from Dubai, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa mainly because industries can’t afford the high cost of running processing industries.
August 7, 2014; http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=70735