IN a rare proactive move eight villages in Kasulu District have voluntarily surrendered a total of 35,000 hectares to Kigoma Sugar Company, to allow the investor to produce annually 110,000 tons of sugar, Kasulu District Commissioner (DC), Colonel Simon Anange announced here yesterday.
The DC told the Executive Director of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Mr Geoffrey Mwambe, that the villagers offered willingly the land to the district council because they understood the importance and economic benefits of having a sugar plant in their vicinity.
He named the villages as Nyamidaho, Kumtundu, Nyarugusu, Heru, Ushingo, Kigadye, Kitanga and Kiyugwe.
Land would be taken over by the TIC for investment coordination and would be used to grow sugar cane and establish a sugar plant.
Col. Anange said construction would start this year and the plant was expected to produce 110,000 metric tons annually. He said the amount would increase substantially Tanzania’s local sugar production capacity.
Tanzania has an estimated annual sugar demand deficit of 320,000 tones, and has to import amount to offset the shortfall, the DC explained.
The DC praised the villagers for the move, saying it would go a long way in spurring development in the district and Kigoma Region. He also said voluntary surrender of the land showed that the villagers supported the economic policies the fifth phase government led by President John Magufuli.
Mr Mwambe thanked the villagers for surrendering their land voluntarily and pledged that the TIC would ensure proper investment coordination.
He said investment was a multi-sectoral issue and it called for joint efforts from different stakeholders.
“The TIC will ensure proper coordination of the land and ensure the planned investment benefits the villages that have made this sacrifice and Kasulu District,” he pledged.
Meanwhile the TIC and Trolle Meesle Company Limited plan to train 1,850 farmers in proper palm tree husbandry in order to increase palm oil production in Tanzania.
The farmers are members of eight primary cooperative societies devoted to growing palm trees. Trolle Meesle plans to establish a palm oil processing plant in Kigoma Region.