Dar’s food processing up 11%

An increase in processing of food, beverages and tobacco products amplified Tanzania’s manufacturing sector by 10.8 per cent in 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday. 

This is the highest growth to be registered since 2006. It was followed by the production increase of 9.2 per cent in 2008.

NBS Economic Statistics director Morrice Oyuke revealed the data yesterday in Dar es Salaam, whereby he showed that in 2012, the overall Production Index of Manufacturing Industry (Pimi) was 328 compared to 296 for 2011.

“This increase was attributed to higher production in mainly two groups of food, beverages and tobacco by 16.8 per cent and basic metal industries by 14.6 per cent,” said Mr Oyuke.

He said there was negative increase in production of textile and leather goods by 17.7 per cent.

University of Dar es Salaam Economics professor, Haji Semboja, who was present during the release, associated the decrease in production of textile and leather goods with increasing competition from imports and some fake goods manufactured within and outside the country.

“It is good for people to import goods, but Tanzanians should be helped to buy their own machines in order to manufacture goods in the country,” said Prof Semboja.

Pimi measures changes in quantity of commodities produced by different manufacturers. It reflects production trends of constant basket of goods manufactured by industries which on average engage 50 or more workers.

It is the first time NBS makes the data available to the general public and expects that the move will ensure accessibility of statistics to stakeholders.

There were eight groups studied which included food, beverages and tobacco; textiles and leather goods; wood and wood products; pottery, ceramics, glass and non-metallic products; basic metal industries and fabricated metal products, machinery and other equipment.

Economists are of the view that the trend is impressive for the country, but on the other hand they are worried about the structure of the manufacturing sector.

Prof Semboja said it is true there has been increased production in manufacturing industries in the recent years, but there are still some issues.

“But my worry most of these industries which employ over 50 workers are owned by non-Tanzanians, which is not good,” he said.
Source: The Citizen, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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