Tanga — Another positive news to the Tanzanian economy in what is expected to be a very financially profitable 2014.The sisal business which had for years dwindled will see a rejuvenation as investors set their eyes on the potentially lucrative business.
Courtesy of allAfrica.com.
A UNITED States based company plans to build an agave sisalana syrup distillery at Pongwe export processing zone, in Tanga.
The Director General of the Tanzania Sisal Board, Hamis Mapinda told the’Daily News’ on Thursday that the US investor, M/S Tierra Group had already signed a memorandium of understanding with the sisal board for the investment.
“All formalities to have the investor venture into construction of the distillery has been completed. In fact, what remains is the local government allocating a plot to the investor”, said Mapinda.
He said the investor – who is a leading importer and exporter of premium agave based products would provide job opportunities for 500 people.
Under the signed pact small scale holders in the sisal industry will own 20 per cent share in the investment, he said.
Tanzania has been picked as potential investment destination in agave sisalana due to its position as a second largest producer of sisal after Brazil.
Statistics available show that in 2012, Tanzania’s sisal fibre production stood at 38,500 tonnes while Brazil produced 52,000 tonnes.
Going by Tanzania Sisal Board (TSB) statistics, the country produces 500,000 tonnes of sisal fibre per year.
Agave Sisalana, also called agave nectar, is produced through physical extraction from a sisal stem-known in sisal industry circles as ‘bole’.
“Extraction of agave syrup is done when the plant is between 7 and 11 years old, ideally, before flowering stage”, says Mapinda, adding that during that time, sugar content is at its highest peak.
The ‘bole’ also produces inulin, a complex of sugar present in the roots of various plants and used medically to test kidney function.