Shinyanga — SHINYANGA region is set to become one of the industrialised regions soon, following plans to construct 25 industries that will employ over 100,000 people by the year 2015.
This was unveiled here, during a joint tour by the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing and the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary General, Mr Abdulrahman Kinana to inspect the construction of cotton industries in the region.
Shinyanga Regional Commissioner Mr Ally Rufunga told the two leaders and their delegations that Chinese investors were putting up seven factories which will process and produce various products from cotton.
Mr Rufunga said that China has shown interest in improving cotton farming by increasing productivity and give better prices to farmers.
"We have signed contracts with various investors from China, to construct seven cotton factories that will include processing factories, cotton oil factories, textiles, factory packaging materials and soap factories," he said.
He added that the Chinese investors will also help to increase productivity where seeds from China will be introduced in the country. He added that the regional authority would contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives so they can permit importation of seeds from China to be introduced in the country.
"Currently our farmers are producing 400 kilogrammes of cotton per hectare but in China farmers produces four tonnes from the same size of land. We expect our farmers to produce 1,200 kilogrammes per hectare after the new technology is introduced" he said.
Mr Rufunga added that some investors from China have shown interest in skin factories and other livestock related factories and some factories were already under construction. The two guests toured a cotton processing factory located in the outskirt of Shinyanga Municipality and were told that the factory will start production by end of this year.
The factory is projected to employ over 1000 local people and will also impart various skills to local people including the construction of an institute to educate cotton farmers on modern farming. Dr Lu arrived in Shinyanga on Thursday and attended a public rally in Kishapu where he assured cotton farmers over abundant market and better prices.