Bakhresa Group launches sugar production

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. Local sugar production received a boost after the Said Salim Bakhresa Group of Companies (SSBG) launched production at its Bagamoyo factory.

The $300 million (about 690 billion shillings) Bagamoyo Sugar Ltd began production on Wednesday, the company said.

The construction of the first phase, which includes premises for production machinery, cost the company some 110 million dollars (about 253 billion shillings).

SSBG General Affairs Manager Hussein Sufian said the project, which has three phases, has started production with an installed capacity of between 30,000 tonnes and 40,000 tonnes per year.

“Our factory is expandable; depending on the availability of sugarcane, it can reach an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes after the three phases are completed,” Mr Sufian told the Citizen yesterday.

He said they were now harvesting 1,200 hectares of sugarcane they had grown in the first phase.

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In a bid to have more raw materials to feed the plant, he added, the company is now cultivating an additional 800 hectares.

The first phase of the plant, according to Sufian, will create about 800 direct jobs.

Deputy Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade, Exaud Kigahe, told the Citizen that with new entrants into sugar production and expansion plans from existing players, the government will fill in the course of over the next three years a deficit that currently stands at approximately 77,500 metric tons.

The country’s four factories, Kagera Sugar, Kilombero Sugar, Mtibwa Sugar Estates and TPC, produce around 342,000 tonnes of sugar per year against domestic demand of around 420,000 tonnes. In what could be described as a boost for the sector, in January this year another player, Lake Agro Investment, began implementation of the $70 million (approximately 161 billion) sugar production project. shillings) in Utete, Rufiji district in the coastal region.

The project should produce 100,000 tonnes of sugar per year and create 10,000 direct jobs.

“If you look at the bigger picture, these initiatives show us the light at the end of the tunnel,” Kigahe said.

“We are confident that we will achieve our dream of making Tanzania self-sufficient in sugar by 2025 and thus address the constant shortages of sugar in the market.”

This, he expressed his optimism, will make Tanzania competitive in the East African Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and Continental Free Trade Area. Africa (AfCFTA).

“For the sector to be competitive, I urge players in the sector not to fall into the trap of price cartels,” Mr. Kigahe recalled.

Confederation of Tanzanian Industries (CTI) Trade Policy Specialist Frank Dafa said the new development of the Bakhresa Group of Companies will bring efficiency through competition and price.

“To the country, we will bring welfare in terms of price and product variety,” Dafa said.

He called on the company and other investors to increase their investments to fill the supply gap in the country.

Rachel J. Bradford