Govt to empower grape farmers establishing processing factories

24Jan 2022
The Guardian
Govt to empower grape farmers establishing processing factories

​​​​​​​MINISTER for investments, Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has said the government was ready to empower grape farmers in Dodoma region by building processing factories to add value to the crop.

​​​​​​​MINISTER for investments, Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji.

Dr Kijaji made the remarks here at the weekend during her inspection visit of areas for the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) at Nala area.

She said Dodoma Region is a strategic area and grapes produces cannot be cultivated in any other areas in the world.

“We lack factories, and when harvest time arrives, you Regional Commissioner start to worry, I therefore invite foreign investor to invest in Dodoma as it is one among three strategic regions,” she said.

“Apart from grapes, we have sunflower, also a strategic crop, we must see how we can utilise it,” she added.

EPZA Director General, Charles Itembe said since its establishment, the Authority has issued licences to 18 companies.

He said the companies have invested a total of USD 2.549 billion and provided employment to 64,159 people by December 2021.

He added that efforts by the Ministry for Investment, Industry and Trade, the Office of the Dodoma Regional Commissioner and the Office of Dodoma City Director have made possible the allocation of the area as a special investment area.

"According to its legal responsibilities, EPZA will develop the area as a special trade, logistics and industrial park,” he said.

He said other sectors that are depended upon to woo investors in the area includes construction, minerals, drugs and garments.

"The government established EPZA in February 2006. The decision was implemented through amendments to Act No 11 of 2002 passed by Parliament to oversee the Export Processing Zone programme,” he added.