- A six-year package of measures worth €6.5 million has been introduced by the European Commission (EC) for the development of Tanzania's sugar sector so that it can complete globally, the EC has announced.
Tanzania’s benefits from sugar exports to the European Union were eroded by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling. Under the EU's sugar regime package, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries were assisted to export their sugar to the European market. This was however halted by the WTO ruling.
As part of its plans to remain a key player in the sugar business, the Tanzanian government had produced a National Strategy on how to adjust to the new EU sugar market regime. The EC outlined a strategy for the period of 2006-2015 on how to support national plans for adjusting to the new price regime.
"There is an overall need for the Tanzanian sugar industry to raise efficiency and reduce production costs or to diversify from simple sugar production in order to improve competitiveness with other countries," the EC said, adding that its overall aim is "to support only non-bankable measures contained within the National Sugar Strategy."
"Priorities have been to design and start the implementation of measures for improved efficiencies in small holder farm management, the development of ‘public good’ types of infrastructure at the small holder (outgrower) level and to support improved environmental management."
Specifically, the strategy addresses "inefficiencies" in the small holder production process while expecting to achieve results in the areas of outgrower infrastructure and institutional development, research, training and agricultural extension, environmental management and project management.
Its plans include support to the establishment of block farming at outgrower level, outgrower organisational development, the rehabilitation of farm tracks and cane access roads for sugar outgrowers and the establishment of a new Trust farm to support infrastructure maintenance.
Equally, the package will entail comprehensive support to improve synchronisation of farming among small holders and improved agricultural practices and logistics management. The restructuring and merger of the Sugar Institutes will also be supported so that they are enabled to fulfill their mandates in the sector.
In areas where outgrowers do not exist, the EC will support the improvement of environmental management, notably in the area of soil and effluent management. There will also be support to communication and visibility activities at all sites.
At its start-up mode, the project's board need to recruit personnel and prepare programme estimates for the first cycle before its anticipated actual implementation takes off in December this year.
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