The Tanzania Agricultural Export Processing Zone Limited (TAEPZ) and Epoch Agriculture from China have sealed an out-grower scheme.

The deal will ensure cassava farmers in Tanzania have access to reliable export market while tapping into the country’s potential.

With a US$1 billion budget, the agreement’s target is to commercialise cassava farming and processing.

The project’s phase is to consist of industrial park of factories producing – cassava flour, cassava starch, animal feeds, organic fertilizer and paper pulp is to start in three regions of Mtwara, Lindi and Coast.

According to the Chinese firm, the next phase will include production of industrial sugar and ethanol.

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) proactively participated in the structuring of the agreement.

“We had to intervene in the project for the purpose of ensuring that it is fast-tracked and given its potential in spurring inclusive economic growth.

We facilitated the assessment whereby our country can conform to Chinese standards,” Godfrey Simbeye, Executive Director of TPSF said.

According to Simbeye, the agreement has secured a market of two million metric tonnes of dry cassava chips per annum with increase of five per cent for subsequent year.

Current statistics indicate that Tanzania produces 5.5mn tonnes of cassava every year, while TAEPZ will consume 2.5mn tonnes of dry cassava every year.

Government has described the partnership agreement as a big boost towards industrialisation.

Dr Adelhelm Meru Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said once fully implemented, the agreement will transform living standards and industrialise the economy.