Foreign investors seek to grow grapes in Dodoma

    Grapes in Dodoma
    Grapes in Dodoma

    Last updated: July 25, 2019.

    Tanzania’s grapes and wine industry is heading towards interesting times following the continued influx of foreign and local investors in the sub-sectors.

    Apart from increased spate of investments, the government in Dodoma Region is also in the process of forming a grapes board, a key organ which among other things, is projected to elevate grower performance as well as thrashing out common setbacks haunting the sectors.

    These include the poor market for grapes produces by farmers in the region and unwelcome prices for the prestigious cash crop.

    Dr. Binilith Mahenge, Dodoma Regional Commissioner, said that there is a list of foreign investors who are interested in chipping in – in the semiarid region and invest in the grape and wine industries.

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    “Some investors from Israel have lodged an application for at least 100 acres of land to establish big vineyards in Dodoma,” he reported.

    Moreover, he confirmed that other investors from South Africa have also dispatched a request, seeking a chunk of land in readiness to invest into grapes and wine subsectors.

    Speaking here recently when gracing a special forum of the Tanzania Investment Promotion Exhibition and Conference 2018 and key traders in the region, Dodoma Mayor, Professor Davis Mwamfupe, said the county’s wine industry was destined for a brighter future.

    He further said that a group of investors from Australia was expected in Dodoma in February next year for a six-day tour in search of investment opportunities, including grapes and wine.

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    However, to ensure the grapes industry is handled more profitable, the government in Dodoma Region has directed commissioners in all districts dealing with grape cultivation in the region to gather reliable statistics on farmers’ activities.

    According to him, the needed data include the number of active farmers in each district together with their annual production capacity. It was observed that absence of correct statistics was diluting efforts by the government and other stakeholders to improve the sector.

    “Reliable statistics is key to fostering investment in agriculture and industrial sector. For instance, most investors need to be assured on an adequate supply of raw materials, and this, requires timely statistics,’’ Dr. Mahenge pointed out.

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    Despite the fact that grapes can flourish in several regions in the country, Dodoma remains the country’s sole destination for the production of several varieties of wine and table grapes.

    The chief wine grapes grown in Dodoma include Makutupora Red, Black Rose, Alphonce Lavalle, Malagha Crevein, Muscat Bumberg and Halil Belly.There is also Chenin Black, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Available records had it that there are at least 1,696 grapes farmers in different 25 villages of Chamwino, Bahi, and Dodoma districts, with the annual production volume, pegged at 10,052 tonnes.

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