BAJUTA International (T) Ltd, has clinched a deal to supply fertilizer to Southern Sudan, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative, Eng Mbogo Futakamba has said.
He hailed the deal in Dar es Salaam as a major step by local businessmen to theregion in their dealings. Eng Futakamba was speaking following his return from Juba where he led the Tanzanian delegation.
"This company attended the Alliance for Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Arusha recently and when we participated in the annual trade fair with a group of 18 farmers and business people, The Southern Sudanese were impressed with his products and he ultimately won a deal," he said.
"There are basically opportunities in key sectors... service, manufacturing, transport, building and construction, energy and others. For example there is only one bank in Sudan, no hotels and even a power line. Essentially, the trade opportunities are there," he added.
"Food prices there are high, but supplying fertilizer is a big opportunity. Only one Tanzanian has so far clinched a deal to supply the commodity," he said. He said the country, which only became independent last year, will soon finalise its investment and land use policies.
He said 90 per cent of what is used in Southern Sudan is imported, giving Tanzanian business people opportunities in selling agricultural inputs, energy, setting up industries, sugar factories and hotels in the country. However, he said the challenge is that there is no Tanzania embassy in Southern Sudan.
Also, there are no Tanzanian financial institutions that would support business people once there. He said there should be an office to provide information on the emerging markets in the vast country. "Some of our banks like CRDB and NMB should invest in Juba," he said.
Bahi district commissioner Betty Mkwasa, who was part of the delegation to Juba, said buses from Dar es Salaam should start a route to Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan. He also asked that Precision Air start a route from Dar es Salaam to the country.
A businessman from Agrocom Ltd in Kahama, Dadrahim Rendis said Tanzanian business people should act fast to take advantages of the opportunities in the country. Traders suggested border storage facilities so that local produce heading to Southern Sudan is coordinated and reach Southern Sudan with Tanzanian labels.
The delegation was in Juba at the invitation of the Agriculture Minister, Ms Betty Achan Ogwaro who requested Tanzanian farmers and traders to attend the Annual Trade Fair in Juba in order to witness the value of their food crops. The Southern Sudan minister told the delegation that most of the crops from Tanzanian were sold at higher price because of their superior quality.
Yet, she has never seen any Tanzanian trader in the market. Mr William Mbogo, who was one of the farmers in the delegation, said the trip had helped them exchange experience with other traders, saying he was optimistic to start exporting food crops after the trip.
The delegation was led by Eng Futakamba and two Districts Commissioners - Betty Mkwasa (Bahi) and Cosmas Kayombo (Kakonko). The farmers came from Dodoma, Morogoro, Arusha, Katavi, Kagera, Iringa, Rukwa, Katavi and Kigoma regions.