5 July 2012

Tanzania: Mtwara to Get Urea Fertilizer Factory

Dodoma — TWO investors have shown interest in setting up urea fertilizer factory in Mtwara region, the National Assembly was told here on Wednesday.

The fertilizer will be produced using natural gas, which is found in abundance in southern regions, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food and Corporative, Mr Adam Malima said. However, Malima did not name the investors but said negotiations are in advanced stages.

Malima admitted that there were shortages of urea fertilizer in the country, saying the demand which exceeded supply has resulted into importation of fake fertilizer, which has yielded poor results for famers. He said most of the fertilizer being used in the country is imported, adding that it was high time more entrepreneurs invested in the production of fertilizers, while existing ones stepped up their quotas.

He said the government will also continue to support the Minjingu Fertilizer Company in Manyara Region, for it to increase its production quotas that will meet the demand of the local market and exportation.Malima said the Minjingu Fertilizer factory embarked on ambitious project to produce phosphate with sulphur to mitigate the limitation of rock phosphate, for direct application.

Recently, the government formed the Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA) amid a substantial increase in ill-examined commercial products in the domestic market from fertilizer importers, retailers and agro vendors. And Malima said a new bill will soon be tabled in the Parliament to give more teeth to TFRA in ensuring the supply of quality fertilizer in the country. TFRA will also handle the registration and licensing process for fertilizer dealers.

He was responding to a supplementary question by Jenister Mhagama (Peramiho - CCM), who wanted to know if the government was planning to tap into the availability of natural gas and set up a fertilizer factory in Mtwara.

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