Dodoma — THE government has explained commitment to put up industries in Dodoma to process grapes widely cultivated in the region.
Food, Agriculture and Co-operatives Deputy Minister, Godfrey Zambi told the National Assembly on Friday that grapes cultivation should be given special emphasis because of its great economic potential.
He said the government has allocated 600m/- as a start-up capital for the installation of the long-awaited wine making plant.
Mr Zambi who is the Mbozi East MP, said that in implementing Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP) about 260m/- was allocated in 2012/13 and 380m/- was allocated in this financial year for the establishment of the wine making plant, which is to cost nearly 1bn/-.
The minister was responding to question by Dodoma Urban legislator, Dr Mciwa Mallole, who wanted to know over when grape farmers will get reliable market for their produces.
He also queried on the government's commitments to ensure grape get serious investments as it was promised by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda few years ago. Responding, Zambi said availability of market is one of key ingredients towards promoting the crop.
"In preparing conducive environment for grape investment, the government would continue sensitizing private sector to invest in wine processing factories through semi refinery and double refinery," he said, adding that the move would increase grape processing that ensures reliable market for grape farmers in the country.
He said the ministry in collaboration with Chamwino District Council to come up with a strategy of establishing a new wine making plant in Chinangali II, so that the grape produced in Dodoma be processed, hence giving farmers lucrative price.
Chamwino District Council has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB) for a loan that would accomplish construction of the plant.
Grapes are widely grown in Dodoma in areas of Makang'wa, Hombolo, Mpunguzi, Kibelela and Mbabala villages in Kongwa and parts of Dodoma municipality.