Sisal has bright future, says CEO

A woman laborer is drying sisal
A sisal crop development campaigner has challenged Tanzanians to change their mindsets towards sisal, saying the crop was rising and providing immense business opportunities.

Mr Salim Shamte was presenting a paper on the ‘Position of Sisal’ in the proposed five-year Tanga Regional Integrated Development Plan (TRIDP) at a stakeholders meeting at Mkonge Hotel in Tanga City yesterday.
Mr Shamte who is the chief executive officer of the Tanga-based sisal company, Katani Limited, said that there was no way Tanzania could avoid developing the crop given the fact that the crop was now undergoing a global resurgence. 

He revealed that the growing demand for the natural fibre crop was currently estimated at the value of US $4 trillion per year. He said the other products included superior buffing cloth, pulp and paper, composites (for autos, aircraft, plastic reinforcement and construction), cordage, carpets, geo-textiles and handicrafts.

“The effective market demand of sisal products runs into millions of tons worldwide with new markets in the East Africa Community (EAC), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Middle East, Asia and Far East,” he said.

Sisal state in Tanga
The CEO also added that technological advancement have made it possible to use sisal waste for biogas, electricity, organic fertilizer, ethanol, alcohol pharmaceuticals and other products.

“The story that sisal is dead should be forgotten because there is no other sector which could put Tanga Region and the country at large on quick development path other than sisal,” said Mr Shamte.

Tanga, he said contributed 60 per cent of Tanzania’s sisal sales totaling 88bn/, 72 per cent of sisal products sales at 70bn/-  with total exports ranging to $59 million.

He said Tanga had 37 sisal fibre factories to date with only the current 20 per cent capacity utilization; employees over 335,000 people. He said it was time to think about establishing a sisal related bank to facilitate loans for the development of the crop.
Source: The Citizen,, reported by George Sembony in Tanga

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