Indian investors in collaboration with Tanzanian counterparts yesterday unveiled plans to establish a sugar factory with the capacity of producing 125,000 tonnes annually in Rufiji district, Coast region.
Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, India-based Mahakaushal Sugar and Power Industries Ltd Finance Director Bharat Kabra said the project would start in July, this year.
“We have acquired 25,000 acres for investment and expect to start commercial production in July, 2014,” he said.
He noted that they would also set up a tissue culture and agricultural laboratory in June, this year. “Technicians and equipment are being sent from India. The technicians will study the soil, water condition and advise the best variety for sugarcane production,” he said.
He said the sugar plant was expected to provide direct employment to 500 people this year and the number would increase to 10,000 people by next year.
“Local people will be trained to operate sugar mill machinery and will be directly employed after training. We will provide sustainable agricultural techniques for cultivation of sugarcane, use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides,” Kabra said.
He said to ensure the local community was involved in sugarcane production, Rufiji Sugar Plant would form blocks of 100 acres and each block would be given to a group of local people and would be responsible for the cultivation of sugarcane and at the end they would share the profit, which would be generated from the cultivation of sugarcane.
“The sugar plant will provide seeds, equipment, technical support and other support required for the cultivation of sugarcane, provide transport of sugarcane to the factory and thereafter they will deduct the cost of production incurred by the factory and net amount from the sale of sugarcane will be given to the group,” he said.
For his part, Project Coordinator Kiondo Mahanyu said total investment in the project would be US$150 million and would be further increased to US$250.
“We expect that after three years the plant will be expanded to crash 10,000 tonnes per day, which will result in the production of 250,000 tonnes of sugar annually.