CONSTRUCTION of a high-tech laboratory aimed to control the quality of imported and locally-manufactured fertilisers has begun in Dar es Salaam, focusing markets in the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) regional economic blocs.
Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) Executive Director, Dr Stephan Ngailo said in an exclusive interview this week that the three-storey 1bn/- ultra-modern laboratory will enable Tanzania become the nucleus of the fertiliser trade in the EAC and SADC member countries.
Designed by experts from the Arusha Technical College, the project is expected to be completed this financial year, using the force account method, Dr Ngailo said.
The project is the brainchild of the ruling CCM 2020/2025 Election Manifesto, which lays accent on the use of fertilisers to transform the country’s dependable agriculture sector, the mainstay of the national economy.
Currently, TFRA continues to use labs of other institutions to test the quality of imported and locally-manufactured fertilisers, an exercise that Dr Ngailo says is too expensive and time-consuming.
“We want to have a modern laboratory with international accreditation to make our country the centre of the fertiliser trade in the sub-regional economic groupings,” he said.
Tanzania’s geographical advantage has presented an opportunity for investment in the fertiliser industry, as there is access to markets through the regional economic blocs for the country to exploit the untapped potential.
Key investment opportunities in the fertilizer value chain include manufacturing and packaging, international trade, clearing and forwarding, domestic distribution, market linkages, storage, financing, quality assurance and publicity.
In the past five years, the number of the country’s registered traders engaged in the fertiliser industry increased nearly seven times from 632 in the 2016/17 financial year to 4,288 in January 31, 2020.
The traders have been given a total of 4,599 licences at their fertiliser business premises as required by the Fertilizer Act No. 9 of 2009.
Under this act, which provides for fertiliser quality control, fertilizer dealers are required to ensure that fertiliser and fertiliser supplements (FFS) are packed and labeled in the manner prescribed in the regulations.
Dr Ngailo said since the local fertiliser manufacturers cannot suffice the local demand, the government is strongly insisting on investment in different types of fertiliser industries.
Tanzania has a huge local and foreign market due to the demand for different types of fertilisers that largely depends on imports.
As East Africa’s second largest economy, the country boasts of abundant raw materials for fertiliser manufacturing such as phosphates, natural gases, coal, limestone, gypsum, dolomites and others located in different parts of the country.
There are 57 million cubic feet of natural gas that brings an opportunity for investment in domestic manufacturing of fertiliser, according to Dr Ngailo.
The country also boasts of the presence of power generation energy infrastructures such as Mtera dam, the now under construction Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project, and Kihansi dam to ensure availability of power at lower costs which will lower the costs of production.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202110040749.html
Author : Daily News
Publish date : 2021-10-04 13:02:23