No more chalks import as pension fund expands project

04Dec 2017
The Guardian
No more chalks import as pension fund expands project

TANZANIA will no longer import chalk products for education sector in a near future thanks to initiatives established by Maswa District in Simiyu Region and social security sector to address the challenge.

 The district in collaboration with a group of youth have established a chalk factory that would provide services within the area and beyond.

 Speaking recently, the Maswa district business officer identified as Wilson Hamish said the factory now manufactures 180 cartoons of chalks per day.

 “We thank the NSSF for supporting us in expansion of our factory, it is my hope that we will be able to serve the whole nation in near future,” he said.

 Hamish said the loan from the Fund would enable them to expand production, increase employment and change livelihood of locals.

 According to him, they have already secured market in Zanzibar where almost all chalks produced at the factory are sold.

 It is expected that the envisaged factory   would create more than 250 direct and indirect jobs when start production at full capacity.

 Already NSSF has approved a loan of 1.5billion/- for the chalk project which will be channelled through Maswa District Council (MDC) who is the majority shareholder.

 In January, this year, President John Magufuli visited Simiyu Region and Maswa chalks industry.

He said he was optimistic that when the factory is expanded and becomes fully operational, there would be no need for the country to import chalks and hinted chalk imports may be subjected to heavy duties to promote local production.

 In monetary terms the Region is estimated to have GDP at current prices of 1,959,401m/-  as of  six years ago  contributing about 6.07 per cent of National GDP.

 The region also has per capital income of 510,023/- ranking it among middle income earners in the country. Agriculture has continued to dominate the livelihood and economic performance of Simiyu Region.

 The sector contributes about 75 per cent to the Regional economy and employs about 80 per cent of the active population in the Region. The main cash crops grown are cotton, groundnuts and sunflower.

 Simiyu Region covers a total area of 23,807.7 square kilometres, which is equal to 23,807,700 hectares.

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