Tanzania has announced plans to build a massive grain storage facility and distribution centre in Mombasa, Kenya, to help the country export surplus food supplies. Tanzania has high ambitions for grain storage facilities, as it currently has two grain storage facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.
The silos will make it easier for Kenya and Tanzania to trade surplus food supplies. The investment would boost bilateral trade between the two countries. In the first 11 months of 2021, this totalled US$905.5 million.
Tanzania will supply agricultural products directly to Kenya through the Mombasa grain centre. Presidents of Tanzania and Kenya, Samia Suluhu Hassan and Uhuru Kenyatta, have agreed to work on a smoother trade relationship between the countries.
“We have opened grain centres in Juba, South Sudan, and Lubumbashi in the DRC. We already delivered 800 tonnes of grains to the two centres. This enables Tanzanian farmers and traders to get good markets for their products. We believe access to markets motivates farmers to increase production,” Hussein Bashe, Tanzanian minister of agriculture, said via social media.
Tanzania grain performs well
According to the Tanzania Cereals and Other Produce Board (CPB), grain outlets in Juba and Lubumbashi are trading favourably. The Mombasa facility was also predicted to do better than the other two.
Tanzania exported over 97 000 tonnes of maize in 2019, according to statistics. This paved the way for the government to partner with Tanzania’s Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor to begin a grain surplus programme (SAGCOT). It was reported that the project will enable the country to utilise more than 350 000 hectares of arable land to grow maize, paddy, wheat, sorghum, millet, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes and bananas are grown over in the country’s lush southern highlands region.