Dodoma. The government, working through the Tanzania Investment Center (TIC), says it has met with prospective investors and encouraged them to establish cooking oil processing factories in the country. This is taking into account the fact that the requisite raw materials for that are readily available locally.
The investors involved include the East Coast Oils and Fats; Mkoani Edible Oil and Detergent Ltd; Murzah Wilmar E.A. Industries, and BIDCO.
This was said by the deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment and the Disabled, Mr Antony Mavunde.
He was responding to a question posed by South Morogoro MP (CCM) Prosper Mbena who wanted to know the government's strategies in supporting farmers and local investors. This is in efforts to increase the domestic production capacity of cooking oil, which currently stands at 400,000 tonnes. This is just enough to meet 30 per cent of the total domestic demand -- thus necessitating importation of the other 70 per cent to satisfy local demand.
Mr Mbena also wanted to be told why the government is not pursuing the importers of cooking oil to set up processing industries in the country so as to avoid importing the commodity.
"We have already conducted talks with a number of potential investors to get them to establish cooking oil industries in Tanzania. Some of them have shown interest to establish palm farms," said Mr Mavunde who was responding on behalf of the minister for Industry, Trade and Investment.
The deputy minister also said that, working in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), the government is preparing a strategy that is intended to boost production of oil seeds designed to fill the deficit gap of cooking oil.
"As it is, the production of cooking oil seeds has jumped from an average of 6.3million kilos in the 2015/16 fiscal year to 6.7 million kilos in 2017/18," he noted.