Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are dominated by farms, which account for more than 40 percent of all businesses in SEZs.
The Export Zone Processing Authority (EPZA) told the Daily News yesterday that agribusinesses, ranging from farm equipment to processing plants, currently make up 40 of the 97 companies located in various special economic zones across the country.
Ms Nkandongo Fares, EPZA’s Chief Investment and Promotion Officer, urged local and foreign investors to set up agricultural factories in special economic zones and take advantage of the country’s abundant raw materials.
“EPZA has earmarked more than 500 hectares in all 26 zones on the mainland for agricultural investment, particularly SEZ,” Ms. Fares said.
Overall, he told the Daily News on the sidelines of the Agritech East Africa exhibition, the capital invested by companies in the special exhibition has reached 1.3 tri/-, providing local people with 20,015 jobs between 2016 and last year.
Ms Phares said some investments in processing crops such as cocoa, Irish potatoes, vegetables and medicinal plants have good returns.
According to the Export Processing Zone regulation, investors must sell 80 percent of their products abroad and the remaining 20 percent domestically.
EPZA also connects agricultural investors with technologically advanced companies that help EPZ system investors leverage technology, harvest more ecologically and capture more export markets.
Syed Fazil, Business Lead, Elven Agric Company Limited said EPZA helped them acquire 900 acres of land in Bagamoyo, Coast and assisted them in importing machinery duty-free.
,[Currently] We export around 200 tons of various fruits, vegetables, chillies and other spices to 22 countries, most of them in Europe,” said Mr. Fazil.
Elven Agric employs over 70 people and we support 50 external growers on the Coast, Morogoro and Dodoma.
The three-day Agri Tech exhibition drew to a close on Wednesday, bringing together over 150 exhibitors. Around 5,000 visitors from the agricultural industry in Tanzania and East Africa were expected to attend the trade fair.