Mtwara — THE government is planning to establish the salt processing plant at Nangurukuru area in Kilwa, Lindi Region, to utilise the abundance of salt pool present in Mtwara and Lindi regions.
Minister for Minerals Dr Doto Biteko made the revelation here over the weekend noting that the plan is yet to be implemented by the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO).
"We (government) have already set aside the budget for construction of the plant as well as identifying an area in Nangurukuru for STAMICO to set up the plant," he said.
Dr Biteko made the revelation during a meeting with local salt producers from Mtwara and Lindi regions. The meeting was held in Mtwara Region.
Business people and salt producers highly commended the government for the plan to establish the salt processing plant at Kilwa, saying the plan will help ease operation and increase efficiencies for salt producers in Mtwara and Lindi regions.
"The plan to have a salt processing plant in Lindi is a health move especially to local producers in Lindi and Mtwara," said Zamda Khatib, salt producer in Mtwara Region.
One Abdul Ismail said the establishment of the salt plant will create employment as well as boost economy in the area.
In another development, the local producers of salt in the area have asked the government to set a plan that will help local producers easily obtain iodine.
Ms Khatib (Local producer for salt) said availability of iodine to the locally produced salt was a problem, calling for government's intervention.
She said the cost of importing iodine was high, a situation which hinders local producers from selling iodised salt.
She said the government should consider providing the iodine to local producers as a free chemical to be added in the salt produced in the country. Iodized salt is considered the most appropriate measure for iodine supplementation.
Meanwhile, Dr Biteko asked coal mining companies to use Mtwara Port in exporting the products, saying the port is well equipped with coal shipping equipment to meet customer expectations.