Japan's Nitori Holdings Company set off the move to ensure that cotton is no longer exported as raw material rather exported as processes good for which they has secured 4,000 ha from Handeni District, Tanga Region for cotton farming and textile factory investment.
Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) Acting Director General Gabriel Mwalo said that the investors will begin cotton farming on the 4,000 ha that they have been given by the district authorities.
Mwalo also explained that the firm failed to obtain all 40,000 ha it had applied for simply because it's difficult to obtain large pieces of land all in one area. However, the investors are on preparations for the investment to take off.
With the company investing USD550m(880bn/-) in large scale cotton farming and opening up of factories, the country would be placed in a better export position as it would now be exporting finished products of cotton and not as raw materials, he said.
The investment was initially planned for Morogoro Region but the company failed to secure enough pieces of land for its designed investments.
Also an out-grower scheme will be introduced by the firm to the surrounding villagers who will supply the extra needed cotton to the firm to sustain its input demand.
Nitori Holdings Company investment will help to stabilise local prices since cotton farmers would no longer depend on the world market price. And this would definitely enhance welfare of farmers.
The Tanga Regional Commissioner Chiku Galawa said that they welcome the Nitori Holdings Company with open arms to invest in the cotton industry as it has shown keen interest. Also the Handeni district commissioner has been directed to make sure the firm acquires enough land for farming with certain conditions applied.
The RC added that they will give them 20,000 ha of land but they will have to reciprocate their farmers in contract farming so that they all acquire skills of modern farming. They do not want to relive the old days of sisal farming whereby investors used their farmers as cheap labour and left them with nothing.
Galawa also said that their region will definitely make sure that investors get all that is necessary for their investment.
During the President Kikwete visit to Japan last year in June, Nitoriâ€™s Senior Managing Director, Shoshin Komiya said that it would invest USD100m which is over 160bn/- in agricultural production and manufacturing to push earnings from exports. Also their dream is to invest in cotton production and set up a fully-fledged textile industry in Tanzania with the support of the government.
The project will help to employ many people in the region whether indirect or direct, therefore the government are now preparing the grounds to make sure that they secure land for investment.
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