The Mvuha River in nearby Mikumi National Park. (Photo: Eirc Brown)
Tanzania offers 60,000 hectares for sugar
Mwanza — The government has allocated 60,000 hectares of land for investment in large-scale commercial farming for sugar and rice.
The land is located in Mkulazi area, 60 kilometres from the Dar es Salaam - Morogoro highway.
The Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) is coordinating subsequent transactions.
TIC is a One Stop Agency set up under the Tanzania Investment Act, No. 26 of 1997 to promote, co-ordinate and facilitate investment into Tanzania.
Both local and foreign investors are invited to apply for allocations.
The site is situated alongside the TAZARA railway line linking Dar es Salaam with the Zambian border, approximately 100 kms from Dar es Salaam.
Mkulazi is well positioned to serve the growing local, regional and global demand-supply gap in both the sugar and rice markets.
The former Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Christopher Chiza said the project was not expected to replace local residents in the area.
"No single piece of land from farmers will be grabbed to fulfill investment purposes," Chiza assured the peasants recently.
Through the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) initiative commercial developers will also stand to gain from complimentary investments by the government, donors and other private investors in infrastructure, input-supplies, out-grower training and finance.
The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder partnership to rapidly develop the region's agricultural potential.
SAGCOT was initiated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit 2010 with the support of founding partners including farmers, agri-business, the Tanzania government and companies from across the private sector.
SAGCOT's objective is to foster inclusive, commercially successful agribusinesses that will benefit the region's small-scale farmers, and in so doing, improve food security, reduce rural poverty and ensure environmental sustainability.
It is a public-private partnership well placed to achieve the objectives of Kilimo Kwanza from the coastal plains and the valleys of Kilombero and Ruaha to the hills and valleys of the Southern Highlands and the Usangu flats.
The title of Mkulazi is secured by TIC from the Ministry of Land, Food Security and Cooperatives and the whole land is under TIC land bank.
The farm is subdivided and subtitled as follows; 40,000 hectares for sugar farming divided in two farms of 20,000 hectares each. The remaining 20,000 hectares would be for rice farming---four rice farms of 5,000 hectares each.
Mkulazi Large Scale Commercial farming site for Sugar and Rice land allocation would be guided by the Tanzania Investment Centre approved land allocation Manual.
According to TIC, the following investment farms are available on 66 years lease. Farm No. 217/1 and farm No. 217/2 -with total 40,000 hectares that would be for sugar farming.
The rice farms would be in Farm No. 217/3, Farm No. 217/4, Farm No. 217/5 and Farm No. 217/6, all with the size of 5,000 hectares each.
The government had earlier assured peasant farmers living around the 60,000-hectare Mkulazi Farm that the proposed commercial agriculture investment project would not grab their land.
Instead, the government would take precautions to ensure that any land ownership contracts will benefit Tanzanians living in the project area and the country at large.