JKT, Polish firm to build tractor assembly plant

The National Service economic wing (SUMA-JKT) and a Polish firm Ursus S.A signed a US $55 million deal for tractor supply and construction of an assembling plant.

The signing held at National Service (JKT) Headquarters was witnessed by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda and former Polish president Lech Walesa, who is also a Nobel Laureate.

Premier Pinda said the deal was the outcome of his last year's visit to Poland where the east Europen country committed to provide 110 million US dollars for supply of tractors and cereal storage facilities.

"Our visit to Poland was to seek assistance for construction of silos to solve the acute problem of cereal storage, across the country. "But (Poland) said they want to mechanise our agriculture as well and are ready to share knowledge," Mr Pinda said.

According to the premier, Tanzania suggested that the tractor supply deal should not end at supply but also assembly them locally and Poland agreed. 

Former Polish president, Mr Walesa said he is committed to see the tractor project become a success story in a short period, as the parties concerned have the ability to do so.

"Tanzania (and Africa) has all the potential to grow faster than Europe and this is the beginning," Mr Walace said. 

He added:"The success of this project will open more doors to other opportunities to share between Tanzania and Poland. Ursus S.A President of the Board, Mr Karol Zarajczyk, said the tractor assembly plant would employ some 2,500 workers.

'We are planning to start construction of the plant with advanced technology in the next three months," Mr Zarajczyk said. 

He said 'we are still looking for a suitable area for the plant construction, but it is either in Dar es Salaam or Coast Region preferable Kibaha."

The assembly plant will have the capacity of producing 2,500 tractors annually and envisage exporting some of the tractors to neighbourhood counties, the president of the board said.

SUMA-JKT Chief Executive Major General Raphael Muhuga said the deal has received all the blessings from Attorney General (AG) office and is jointly implemented by SUMA and Ursus. 

The Ursus factory was found in 1893 by three engineers and four businessmen. It began producing exhaust engines and then later trucks and metal fittings.
Source: Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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