Tanzania: Japan's Nitori to Invest Sh900 Billion in Cotton Farming
JAPAN'S Nitori Holdings Company is set to invest 550million US dollars (about 880bn/-) in large scale cotton farming and related industries, in the country.
The Japan investor has secured 40,000 hectares of land for commercial cotton farming in Handeni District where it will open a cotton farm and a processing plant.
The investment was initially planned for Morogoro Region but the company failed to secure large enough land for its earmarked investments. Tanzania Cotton Board acting Director General Gabriel Mwalo said that the farming area has been demarcated and preparations for the investments to take off were in the final stages.
"This is a breakthrough in cotton industry. At the moment they are in final stage of acquiring the land, once it is completed the country is going to have the first large scale cotton farm," Mr Mwalo said.
He said the firm would also introduce out-grower scheme to the surrounding villagers who will feed the extra needed cotton to the firm to sustain its input demand. "Nitori will construct textile factories within the area, to completely process into final products for their chain of stores thus adding cotton value," Mr Gabriel said.
The move will assist to stabilize local prices... and remove dependency for overseas price, he said during TCB's editors' forum.
Mr Mwalo also said another Indian firm planned to invest in a spinning mill at the tune of 36million US dollars, but it had yet to secure a factory premises which they prefer to be in a radius of 50 kilometre from the Dar es Salaam Port.
"Earlier they secure a premises somewhere near Mkuranga (in Coast Region) but it had no enough power as they need 40megawatts... they had to abandon the place as TANESCO said could not upgrade the existing capacity," Mr Mwalo said.
When President Kikwete visited to Japan early June, Nitori Holdings said would invest 100 million US dollars (over 160bn/-) in agricultural production and manufacturing to push earnings from exports.
Nitori, which boasts of 300 stores in Japan, plans to increase the number of its stores tenfold to 3,000 stores in the next 20 years, with more focus directed at Africa in general and Tanzania in particular.