Tanzania moves to boost sugarcane production

Tanzanian authorities have announced measures they were taking to boost the production of sugarcane that will lead to ending sugar scarcity in the East African nation.

Hussein Bashe, the Agriculture Minister, said on Sunday that the measures included the construction of irrigation schemes for small-scale sugarcane growers in sugarcane growing regions.

Bashe directed the Sugar Board of Tanzania and the National Irrigation Commission to earmark areas in sugarcane growing regions for the construction of irrigation schemes, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Most of the sugarcane grown by small holders in the country is rain-dependent. We should stop this and use irrigation,” he told a meeting of sugar stakeholders in the Morogoro region organised by the Sugar Board of Tanzania.

He added that another measure was to mobilise production and use quality sugarcane seedlings that will produce better yield.

Bashe also directed the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute to research high-yielding sugarcane seedlings.

Kenneth Bengesi, the Director General of the Sugar Board of Tanzania, said the lack of sufficient sugarcane was the reason behind the poor production of sugar in the country.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, Tanzania’s annual demand for domestic sugar is about 470,000 metric ton while the country’s five sugar processing factories only have the capacity of producing 378,000 metric ton annually.

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