Farming leads as TIC registers $427 million investment projects in July

Agriculture commanded more than half of the $427.47 million in investment projects registered in July 2023.

What you need to know:

  • Agriculture accounted for $228.83 million (over Sh570 billion) in capital injected into three projects, according latest Tanzania Investment Centre statistics

Dar es Salaam. Agriculture attracted more than half of capital flows in July when investment totaling $427.47 million (over Sh1 trillion) was registered.

 According to the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), agriculture accounted for $228.83 million (over Sh570 billion) in capital injected into three projects.

Normally, the manufacturing sector has been dominating in investment, but latest figures show a shift in investment.

Agriculture was followed by manufacturing, which had 21 projects worth $82.21 million. Commercial building had eight projects worth $69.37 million, while transportation received three projects worth $39.46 million.

In terms of jobs, however, manufacturing created the most jobs at 5,793, followed by agriculture, which employed 616 people and commercial building and transportation which had 398 and 322 jobs, respectively.

China remained the leading foreign investor after investing in various projects in the country during the same period.

According to a TIC report, a total of 40 projects were registered in July this year.

The projects are expected to employ 7,689 people in total.

Dr Donald Mmari, execution director of Research think tank Repoa, said when projects are registered in large numbers and more capital is invested, it means that the business environment is improving.

He said investments made in different sectors will help in creating employment opportunities as well as promoting domestic production.

"This will increase domestic production which means we will be in a position to get foreign currency," said Dr Mmari.

Morogoro-based farmer and agricultural trainer Obison Obadia was of the view that more efforts were needed to ensure that local farmers were empowered.

He said while efforts are being made to empower them including providing them with loans, some of the terms of the loans have become an obstacle for them.

"The government needs to improve the way to repay these loans because the person who grows avocados expects to start harvesting after three years, and the one who grows cassava is expected to harvest after eight months. If you give them a loan today and tell them to start paying it back next month, you are not helping him," Mr Obadia said.

He noted that it is better to look at how to start giving loans to individuals instead of asking farmers to stay in groups which was not making it easier to implement their goals.

His comments also come a few days after President Samia Suluhu Hassan asked experts to look at how they can use water sources such as lakes for irrigation, during the Nane Nane agricultural exhibition.

President Hassan said efforts have already been made in using irrigation schemes and various sources, including drilling more than 60,000 wells for farmers, and there was room to do better.

"God has blessed us with lakes Victoria, Nyasa, Tanganyika and many others. If we draw a little water for farming, it will not harm the fish that are there, nor will it reduce the water depth for ships to sail in the lakes," she said.

"We can look at the possibility of using the water there to irrigate fields for farmers to harvest twice a year," she said.

According to the report, highly invested countries including China, led the investment in July this year, after having invested about 40 percent of the value of all registered projects, followed by India and Panama.

China invested in projects worth Sh423.3 billion while India injected Sh32.5 billion and Panama invested Sh27.5 billion.

Regarding ownership of projects invested in July this year, foreigners owned 35 percent of the project while another 35 percent was owned through joint ventures between foreigners and locals.

The locals owned 30 percent of the projects, according to the TIC report.

Sectors that have been touched in the investment include agriculture, manufacturing, commercial buildings, human resources, services, tourism and transportation.