THE construction of Lindi based Cassava Starch of Tanzania Corporation (CSTC) which has a capacity to process 60 tonnes of cassava per day is now complete by 90per cent, the government has said.
Deputy Minister of Trade, Industries and Investment, Engineer Stella Manyanya told the National Assembly yesterday that the factory had started a pilot production of cassava flour in January 2019.
"The completion and official kick off of official production will provide market for cassava farmers in the Southern regions," she said.
The Deputy Minister was responding to a question by Newala Rural Lawmaker, Rashid Akbar (CCM) who tasked the government to explain what it was doing to look for markets of cassava farmers in his region as well as putting up factories for cassava processing.
Eng Manyanya said because cassava market was expanding worldwide, it was equally important for farmers to receive professional advice from Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) and Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organisation (TIRDO) on how best to process cassava so that they can sell in the world markets, including China where cassava demand is high.
"Cassava is among the agricultural produce, which the ministry is highly prioritising so that it can help in boosting the country's economy and increase the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," said Engineer Manyanya.
On June 28, 2018 Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed the ministry of Trade, Industries and Investment and that of agriculture to form a special committee of experts to go through the challenges facing cassava farmers, impeding the sales of their the cash crop in the Chinese Market.
According to the deputy minister, the ministry in collaboration with the private sector was working hard to expand cassava markets for the benefit of cash crop growers.