Dodoma — THE government has pledged to increase sugar production in the country by identifying other suitable areas for both large and small scale sugarcane farming, the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, told the National Assembly.
The earmarked areas for small scale farming, according to Dr Kigoda include Kilosa and Mwaya in Morogoro, Kiru (Manyara), Lumuma (Dodoma), Peramiho (Songea) Liuli (Mbinga), Amani (Tanga) and Kintiku (Singida).
Expansion of sugar plantation in the country also goes hand in hand with increasing sugar factories. The minister identified Mahurunga (Mtwara), Pangani (Tanga) and Babati (Manyara) as new factory sites.
Dr Kigoda was responding to a question from Said Mussa Zuberi (Fuoni-CCM) who sought to know the government's emergency measures to eliminate the scarcity of sugar in the country which has resulted in higher prices.
Mr Zuberi also claimed that it was high time the government expanded sugarcane farming in the country, among other things, to help cut back the increasing high rate of unemployment.
Dr Kigoda noted that the government, through Tanzania Sugar Board (TSB) was working on a Five Year Strategic Plan (2011-2012 - 2015/16), which is tailored to improve the sector.
"The plan that my ministry has embarked on, among other things, focuses on ensuring sugar availability to meet the growing demand. The initiative is also designed to reduce poverty by increasing employment," Dr Kigoda told the House.