Implement expansion project, Majaliwa counsels sugar firm

19Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Implement expansion project, Majaliwa counsels sugar firm

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has pledged government support towards initiatives to expand Kilombero Sugar Company plantation, saying the country is in need of more investments to address the sugar supply gap, bolster industrial growth and increase employment opportunities.

Board chairman for Kilombero sugar company, Ami Mpungwe (C) shows Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa (R) a plot where Kilombero Sugar Company is planning on building another sugar factory after completing feasibility studies and attaining approvals from the shareholders. On the left is Regional Commissioner for Morogoro Region, Dr Steven Kebwe.

“We have put weight on investments in sugar factories in Tanzania and we still continue to persuade investors to build more factories in other areas as well. We still have enough land, for instance here in Morogoro at Mkulazi we have ample land. Despite government plans to set up a sugar factory at the area, there is still space for you (Kilombero Sugar) to go and build another factory,” said the PM.

Majaliwa made the remarks at the company’s premises in Morogoro region on Tuesday when he paid a visit as part of his four-day tour of the region.

The premier noted that as part of its efforts to encourage the growth of local sugar factories, the government prohibited importation of sugar as it was hindering growth of the local industry. The government is now encouraging the use of sugar from local industries, he stated.  

“Sugar demand in the country stands at 545,000 tonnes (household sugar) per annum. I believe our sugar industry will be able to achieve this in the near future, hence I once again encourage you to expand to eventually reach the target of 545,000 tonnes per year,” he told company staff and management.

He further urged the sugar company to not only invest in expanding the sugar plant, but also on its employees and cane growers. 

Ambassador Ami Mpungwe, the board chairman, commended the government for continued support towards the sugar company especially now that it is in the process of expansion. 

“For now our expansion project is in the final stages of feasibility study before acquiring approval from the board as well as its shareholders. These include Kilombero Holdings with 75 per centg shares and the government with 25 per cent shares,” said Ambassador Mpungwe, requesting the government to issue its approval as minority shareholder to allow implementation of the project.

The company shall continue to work with the government to ensure that the sugar company achieves the government’s vision to produce enough sugar for local consumption, and eventually attain an industrial economy and reach middle-class economy status by 2025. 

The premier commended KSC’s long term plan to produce enough for local consumption and thereafter start producing industrial sugar after expansion, saying this will be a good move for the sugar industry in the country.

“Some unscrupulous traders whom we have given permission to import industrial sugar use this opportunity as a loophole to import table sugar as well. So we want to get away with importing industrial sugar as well,” he declared. 

He encouraged the sugar firm to seek other areas for planting sugar cane, saying there are many suitable areas such as Kigoma, Rufiji and Babati where there is suitable land for sugar cane planting. Kilombero Sugar Company needs to consider investing in such areas as well, once they complete this anticipated expansion project, he added.