Tanzania has invited Omani companies to invest in sugarcane production in the country, in a move aimed at meeting local demand.
The invitation was extended to the Omani Minister for Industry and Trade Dr Ali Bin Masoud during his recent visit to the country to lobby for investment opportunities.
Tanzania has been facing a sugar shortages since President John Magufuli placed a ban on imports. The price per kilo has risen from Tsh1,800 ($0.82) to Tsh2,500 ($1.14).
Earlier, the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Mwigulu Nchemba announced that the government had set aside 294,000 hectares to be allocated to companies looking to develop sugarcane plantations.
The minister said the land would be allocated to investors through a tendering process, to be co-ordinated by the Tanzania Investment Centre.
Mr Nchemba said that the Tanzanian government is currently campaigning to attract small and medium investors to inject their capital into sugar factories. He said that the actual demand for sugar in Tanzania stands at 420,000 tonnes per year while local production stood at 304,007 tonnes last year.
Tanzania’s Minister for Industry and Trade Charles Mwijage said the country has been looking for sugarcane producers from Oman to invest in the cultivation of the crop.
Tanzania and Oman last month established a company to co-ordinate investments and business between the two countries. Registered as Oman Tanzania Investment Company, the firm has put up $25 million as starting capital to be disbursed to private investors as loans.
Dr Masoud was accompanied by more than 100 business executives from Oman, who included 12 government officials responsible for business and investments.