TANZANIA – The Tanzanian government is seeking for investors in the edible oil sector to process and supply the product to the local market in a bid to meet the increasing demand, reports The East African.
The government through the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) said that the call is aimed at enabling the country meet edible oil sufficiency levels and bridge a supply gap of 320,000 tonnes.
According to the TIC, the country has an annual demand for edible oil of 500,000 tonnes, while the country has a current capacity to supply only 180,000 tonnes, compelling it to import 320,000 tonnes annually.
The country has an edible oil demand forecast increase to 700,000 tonnes by 2030, which TIC presents a window for investments into the sector.
The major sources of edible oil in Tanzania are sunflower, palm, groundnuts, sesame, soya beans and cotton with the Oilseeds are produced in almost all regions in Tanzania.
In its effort to support the sector, the government has also set aside US$4.3 million boost cultivation of oil palm as part of its strategy to end importation of edible oils.
Tanzania boasts to be the second largest sunflower seeds producer in Africa accounting for 35% of the continent’s output after South Africa which accounts for 46%.
In the 2018/19 financial year, Tanzania increased the tariffs on crude palm oil to 25% so as to promote local production of oil seeds.
The country also increased duty on semi-refined and refined/double refined edible oil including sunflower oil, palm oil, groundnuts oil, olive oil, maize corn oil to 35% from 25%.
Currently, Tanzania`s edible oil sector stands at US$294 million with Bidco Oil and Soap Ltd, Murzah Oil Mills and Alaska Tanzania being among major players in the sector.
In 2017, the East African Community trade ministers included edible oils manufactured in the EAC on the list of sensitive products in a move to shield local manufacturer from competition from other countries.
The region’s edible oil sector is majorly dominated manufacturers such as A.K Oils & Fats Uganda Ltd, Nile Agro Industries, Oil Palm Uganda Ltd a subsidiary of Bidco Uganda, Kapa Oil Refineries Ltd in Kenya, and East Coast Oils and Fats Ltd of Tanzania.