GINGER growers have every reason to smile as the LAPF Pension Fund pumps in 1bn/- to revive a ginger processing plant in Same District, Kilimanjaro Region.
LAPF Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Mr James Mlowe, said here that more than 1,000 ginger farmers would benefit from the investment set to start soon and would create direct employment opportunities for hundreds of people.
Speaking during the launch of the new plant’s management board, Mr Mlowe explained that direct employment opportunities would depend on the types of machines and technology that would be agreed upon for use in processing the crops.
Mr Mlowe said LAPF was in the final administrative procedures with the owners of the dormant factory Mamba Ginger Growers Rural Cooperative Society.
It is registered under certificate KLR723, and has 606 members, and was launched by the then President Jakaya Kikwete in October 2012.
Same is one of leading ginger producing districts in the country, annual output standing at 15,500 tons. It is a crop on which many peasants in highland areas depend for their livelihood.
However, some people had ceased growing the crop due to lack of a processing plant, and others opted out after the plant ceased operations.
Mr Mlowe called on more people in Same and other districts to engage in ginger farming, pointing out that demand for processed ginger was very high, and they therefore stood to reap huge benefits from the business.
“Our expectations are that after the modern machines are fitted at the factory, production will rise in terms of both quality and quantity. We project to be able to process more than 100 tons of ginger per day and we are pretty optimistic that this is possible,” said Mr Mlowe.