Korogwe farmers call for investors to establish agro-processing plants

07Apr 2020
Rahma Suleiman
Zanzibar
The Guardian
Korogwe farmers call for investors to establish agro-processing plants

​​​​​​​FARMERS in Mpale village, Korogwe district, Tanga region have requested the government to construct a factory to process spices and tea to add value to the commodities and enable them to compete in the international markets.

The villagers claimed that despite having a mega solar power system they do not have a processing factory for their agricultural crops including spices and tea.

Despite having a solar power plant, which can run a tea processing factory, farmers spend most of their precious time to look for a factory far away from the village. The situation has been denying them to fetch good prices from their agricultural crops.

“We need a factory to add value to our products, most farmers have been engaging on the cultivation of cinnamon, garlic, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and tea, but they don’t benefit from their sweat as most of the products are sold raw,” claimed Amina Mohamed who represented the farmers.

She also complained that most farmers had to walk long distances to process their spices at the factory in another ward. She said tea farmers walk even longer to access the factory.

“We are forced to sell our products at low prices because they are not processed. We are ready to contribute to electricity costs as well as storage facilities”, she said, adding that if well-managed spices can be a magic wand for the village and the surrounding area to shake off poverty.

Mpale village chairman, Abdallah Mdoe called upon business people and individuals to invest in the factory as the market is guaranteed.

He said such investments are crucial for the improvement of agricultural activities.

According to Mdoe, the villagers are forced to buy imported tea from other regions only because they don’t have a factory to refine their products.

“We have a mega solar power system that can run machines, but people are not interested in establishing factories”, he said.

Solar power senior supervisor, Erica Jackson said they started providing electricity services to villagers in 2017 after a private solar firm—Ensol volunteered to install the solar power generator.

He said they arrived at the decision after the villagers had complained about lack of services since 1972 when the village was formally established.

Jackson said the solar power system had the capacity to run a factory but most of the villagers are using the energy for domestic uses. He said currently they are producing 40kilowatts for domestic uses only, but the installed machines can produce up to 240 kilowatts per day.