9 July 2014

Tanzania: Sisal Products Enrich Producers

DIVERSIFIED use of sisal products and by-products domestically and abroad seems to have soothed the pains of struggling small-scale producers of the cash crop, giving hopes for high returns on their capital, time and labour investments.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam by Mr Hamad Dege, Katani Limited Agricultural Officer at the just ended Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).

"The sisal fibre has composite applications in the automotive and construction industry. Huge demand is likely to develop as sisal fibre is superior to other natural fibres particularly in the use of paper making, thanks to its higher elastic modulus, impact strength and moderate tensile flexion strengths," he said.

He said traditionally, sisal was mostly used for production of agricultural twines, ropes, cordage, sacks, bags and carpets.

Currently, he said the sisal strips are used to make a flower pot or any other souvenir and once treated with a spatial repellent known as transfluthrin and placed in the living room or outdoors, those sitting within a radius of two metres would be 100 per cent safe from mosquito bites.

The new discovery is not only hygienically beneficial to all Tanzanians, but also an economic incentive to farmers to increase sisal production to meet the soaring demand that would result into increased incomes and improved living standards.

He added that, the production of alternative value added products from sisal such as biogas, bio fertilisers, biofuel, industrial alcohols, pulp for paper, buffing cloth and composites was fuelling demand for the cash crop.

Furthermore, the utilisation of sisal fibre woven products like carpets and matting has remained unchanged; use of the fibre in buffing cloth is an opportunity for which there is a demand in Far Eastern countries like China.

"There is great need for the sisal industry to continue diversifying its end uses in order to become viable and relevant in today's competitive business environment," he noted.

Despite fluctuations during economic crisis, he said sisal prices in the world market has been stable and promising for increased income generations to the small scale growers for improved livelihood and the efforts to alleviate poverty.

The average sisal price in the world market ranges between 1,200 and 1,500 US dollars per tonne, even at times of bumper harvests in Brazil, China and Kenya which are among the world leading sisal producers.


Food, Meat Output Remains Bleak

Some communities in Longido District, including the Maasai, have eventually embraced farming initiatives and indoor… Read more »

Copyright © 2014 Tanzania Daily News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 1,200 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.