Tanzania: Sugar Shortage Will Be History By 2025, MPs Told

sugar cubes

THE government has said sugar shortage will be a history come 2025 thanks to the current investments drive and economic reform strategies.

The Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr Ashatu Kijaji told Parliament here yesterday that the government had developed an ambitious sugar production plans whereas local small, medium and major sugar companies have been empowered to fill the deficit gaps.

She said, edible oil would be available and the scarcity experienced now and then will be a history in the coming three years, as the government has invested in sunflower farming and production to address the shortage.

Responding further to the lawmaker queries while debating the ministry's 99.1bn/- budget estimates for 2022/23 financial year, Dr Kijaji said, the government had long term plan for palm oil production, whereas already a 10,000 acres of land have been given to an investor for the mass production and processing of palm oil.

She said the government had also empowered out growers for sustainability of the raw materials.

The minister also told the Parliamentarians that Mchuchuma and Liganga iron ore production has reached at a good stage where, the ministry and the Attorney General office are finalising investment details taking into account the national interest before making it public.

"We are going to announce the details soon and the Mchuchuma and Liganga iron ore mining will take off soon. Minister Kijaji also said the Air Tanzania Corporation (ATCL) would soon start flying worldwide courtesy of the Open Skies transport agreement signed recently during President Samia Suluhu Hassan's US trip.

She said the national flag carrier ATCL would be flying to many destinations worldwide through Dallas, USA as per the open skies agreement.

Through the agreement, President Samia and the US Vice-President, Kamala Harris underscored the importance of the economic and commercial partnership and discussed recent reforms and others needed to further strengthen investment relationship.

During the meeting the two leaders noted they are looking forward to the entry into force of an Open Skies Air Transport Agreement, which establishes a modern civil aviation relationship between the United States and Tanzania. They agreed that the agreement will promote increased travel and trade and help spur economic growth.

They also welcomed nearly 1 billion US dollars of new investments by US companies in Tanzania in tourism, conservation, and clean energy sectors.

On his part, Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe said the government has beefed up the ministry budget which among others will cater for subsidy for quality seeds, fertiliser and lower tax for investors in the industry.

The Deputy Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade Exaud Kigahe insisted on the government commitment to have conducive environment for investment and industrial growth for economic development.

He vowed also to ensure growth of the small, medium and large entrepreneurs and assured for the needed infrastructure for trade deals. He mentioned key major priorities it expects to implement as including Bagamoyo Special Economic Zone (BSEZ) project. Major focus for the ministry's budget that was endorsed yesterday was on flagship projects which are outlined in the 2020-2025 CCM Manifesto and the government's strategic plans.

According to Dr Kijaji, the investment at the project site will be done by attracting shareholders in both the public and private sectors through (PPP), adding that investment could equally be done by a private investor. The minister further said other priorities were pegged on removing red tape and bottlenecks that are frustrating investors and traders as well as strengthening participation of the private sector directly in the country's economy and empowering Tanzanians economically.

"Specific priorities will be intensifying coordination of awareness programmes for investment at local and international levels, coordinating all issues pertaining to economic empowerment as well as private sector development," she said.

During the 2022/2023 fiscal year, she insisted, the investment development sector would among other things accomplish the ongoing drafting of the policy, strategies and the investment legislation, as well as ensuring that its implementation kicks off immediately.

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