While statistics show that Tanzania annually spends at least $ 120 million to import edible oil, a grim revelation on the other side is the way local cooking oil manufacturers are failing to meet their production targets due to poor supply of raw materials.
Dodoma based Sunshine Industry Company Limited, producers of the much loved cooking oil brand in the market ‘Sunbelt’, which is percent pure sunflower oil, is generally underutilized, failing to meet its production aspirations due to inadequate supply of sunflower from indigenous farmers situated some 15 km from Dodoma City in Zuru Area the $10 million worth plant fails to meet its target of producing 7,000 tons of cooking oil per year.
“When we established this modern factory back in 2015, the focus was to start by producing at least 7,000 tons in a year. But due to poor supply of raw materials, we are being arm twisted to produce only 2,500 tons, which is far behind our focus,” the factory’s Production Manager, Mr. Yu Bo, told the local newspaper recently.
He added that they have been always striving to look for enough raw materials from farmers in different regions to no avail.
“We even tried at one time to hold a roundtable meeting with relevant government authorities, whom we enquired about sunflower supply from farmers. However, the problem still continues,” in which we asking them how they can be assured in getting enough sunflower from farmers but sadly, we are still experiencing the same shortage,” he added.
Mr. Bo said the factory was kept on receiving an order to supply oil in many destinations but they are failing to cater for such lucrative market demands due to the unimpressive supply of raw materials.