TANZANIA – Tanzania is planning to grow more cane and build cane milling factories, calling on both local and foreign investors to develop this industry even as demand for sugar in this country is seen on the rise.

Kilombero Sugar Company, majority owned by South Africa’s Illovo Sugar and one of the largest sugar producers in the country said it plans to build a new factory with expansion of sugar farms in Morogoro region where it operates.

As a result, the company hopes to increase production from 126,000 tonnes to 250,000 per year.

“We are looking to support government’s industrialisation drive that will ensure Tanzania produces enough sugar to meet domestic demand,” said executive director Guy Williams.

According to the EastAfrican, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage had said that the government had set aside 294,000 hectares of land to be allocated to companies looking to develop sugarcane plantations.

Given a sugar deficit of 135,000 tonnes in Tanzania, the government issued import permits to sugar manufacturers to import sugar, while seeking investors to venture into sugarcane cultivation and sugar processing, reports the EastAfrican.

Tanzania has four estates and factories producing a total of 300,000 tonnes of sugar per year in their full capacity including Kilombero Sugar Company, majority owned by South Africa’s Illovo Sugar, Mtibwa, Kagera and TPC, a unit of Mauritius sugar producer Alteo.

All the companies were privatised between 1998 and 2001and since then, they have improved in terms of capital investments, area and revenue with reported total production of 304,135 tonnes in 2010/11

The shortage has prompted the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and PPF Pension Fund to collaborate in constructing sugar cane cultivation and raw production at Mkulazi Sugar Farm in Morogoro region starting January 2019, aiming to produce 30,000 tonnes of sugar per year.

To boost production, Sultanate of Oman had agreed to invest in sugarcane cultivation in Western Tanzania for Kagera Sugar Factory, which hopes to raise its production from 60 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes per year.

Tanzania still has an estimated annual sugar deficit of 220,000-300,000tonnes for domestic and industrial sugar, the industry’s challenges ranging from unsustainable expansion to government issues on outgrower schemes, based on data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.