AfDB to Explore Areas for Agro-Processing Industries in Mbeya, Tanzania

Experts from the African Development Bank (AfDB) have arrived Mbeya, Tanzania to examine prospective areas of investments especially agro-processing industries.

A delegation of 15 AfDB officers, including officials from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, sightsaw Songwe International Airport, Irish potatoes nursery dubbed STAWISHA working in collaboration with Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) as well as the designated industrial park in Inyala.

Speaking after the meeting with the delegation, the Mbeya Regional Commissioner, Albert Chalamila, said experts from AfDB had shown interest in investing in the crop value chain to improve people’s standards of living especially the youth.

“This tour is a result of talks held between President John Magufuli and the boss of AfDB, when they met in the country recently. This gives us hope that the bank will release funds that will help build industries for food processing,” he explained.

He noted that the regional authorities in collaboration with SAGCOT through Mbarali Cluster had set aside areas for industrial parks and identified crops of priority for the region.

“Priority crops include maize, rice, sunflower, potatoes, cocoa, avocados, coffee, milk and palms,” said Mr Chalamila.

He added that what was required was for the government to ensure the areas and the environment for investment were improved by putting in place requisite infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity, among others.

“Enabling infrastructure is key to investment process as well as ensuring that perishable goods arrive quickly to factories for processing as well as easy access to markets,” he said.

Mr Chalamila explained to experts how SAGCOT had through Mbarali Cluster supported farmers as well as coordinating various seminars in Mbeya and Songwe regions.

 

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