Tarime — It is high time a sugar factory as well as large scale sugarcane plantation is introduced in Tarime District in Mara Region and offer local employment opportunities to the residents who are mainly the youth.
The observation was made by the Vice-President, Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday when she was being taken around in a vast arable land that has been earmarked to build a Sugar Factory and sugarcane plantation in the area by the residents.
She lauded the area residents for setting up such a vast piece of land for the factory and crop, saying it would create thousands of direct and indirect jobs to them. Ms Suluhu said she was happy to see how concerned the residents are supporting such an investment and address poverty in the area.
The Vice President promised to consult the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr William Lukuvi on how to fast track the transfer of the piece of land as requested by Tarime District Commissioner (DC), Mr Glorious Luoga.
Presiding over the tour, Nile Agro Industries Limited Managing Director Mr Gajendra Patel, who had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tarime District Council to set up the planned sugar factory, told the Vice President that the investment would cost about 200m US dollars.
He said his Uganda based plant, will create about 5,000 direct jobs and as well as more than 10,000 ones in indirect areas to the locals.
Mr Patel assured Ms Suluhu that they are ready to investment on the factory after also seeing how the land is fertile to support cultivation of sugarcane in the area. Commenting on the factory, Mr Luoga said the District Council and the central government will also benefit a lot from the investment by collecting taxes.
He said about 37,000 hectares of land is required for the whole investment.
Earlier the Vice- President laid a foundation stone to mark the construction of a new Chalk Plant in Tarime town that is being built by Arwa Investment, a local company that is owned by Mr Thobias Raya, a native investor.
She congratulated Mr Raya for the investment saying: "Besides reducing costs of importing pieces of writing chalks, it will create many local job opportunities." Mr Raya promised the Vice President that they will be through with the construction by early next month this year, and immediately start related production.
Ms Suluhu started a three-day working tour in Mara Region after she graced commemorations of the World Environment Day in Butiama on Sunday.