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July 24, 2011

Tanzania to revive sisal industry

by George Sembony

Tanga. The Tanzania Sisal Board (TSB) is set to unveil a proposed ten-year crop development plan that would expand cultivation and ulitisation of sisal. According to the TSB acting director general, Mr Hamis Mapinda, the proposed plan aims at transforming the current state of the sisal industry, making it self-sustaining and competitive in the world market.

He said the major thrust behind the plan was to increase the utilisation of the sisal plant from the current level of two per cent to at least 50 per cent within 10 years.

He noted that the proposed plan earmarks 146,061.69 hectares of sisal for development. They include 131,079.79 and 14,981.90 hectares of mature and immature sisal land respectively. The blueprint, according to him, was set to be forwarded to the TSB Board of Directors for approval.

The proposed plan is estimated to cost about $160,235,674 in ten years. Under the proposal, the government would contribute nine per cent of the cost, other beneficiaries 25 per cent while seven per cent would be sourced from donors, Mr Mapinda said, adding that loans from financial institutions would amount to 59 per cent of the total cost.

“The Industry has a vision to increase the area under sisal cultivation that is owned by estates from the current 45,165.15 hectares to 123,861.69 by 2020,” he said, adding:“The proposed plan also has a vision to increase area owned by small-scale sisal farmers from 6,748 hectares in 2010 to 22,200 hectares by 2020,” he said.

The Citizen

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