The government of Tanzania is set to boost production of sugarcane with the aim of ending sugar scarcity in the East African nation
Hussein Bashe, the minister of Agriculture, made the announcement and said the measures included the construction of irrigation schemes for small-scale sugarcane growers in sugarcane growing regions.
Quality sugarcane seedlings
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. He said another measure was to mobilize production and use quality sugarcane seedlings that will produce better yields. Bashe also directed the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) to research high-yielding sugarcane seedlings.
“Most of the sugarcane grown by smallholders in the country is rain-dependent. We should stop this and use irrigation,” said the minister.
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 Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania’s annual demand for domestic sugar is about 470,000 metric tons while the country’s five sugar processing factories only have the capacity of producing 378,000 metric tons annually.