Author: MAUREEN ODUNGA
AfricaPress-Tanzania: TANZANIA has reached an agreement with the People’s Republic of Chin to export its soybeans to help Tanzanian farmers to secure a reliable market for oilseed.
A statement issued by Tanzanian Ambassador to China Mbelwa Kairuki via the embassy’ twitter account on Monday, says soybean demand in China is equivalent to 103 million tonnes annually.
Mr Kairuki noted that out of the 103 million tonnes, 15 million tonnes were produced in China and 88 million tonnes were imported into the country.
“China’s demand for soybeans is estimated at 103 million tonnes per year whereas 15 million tonnes are produced in China and with the rest imported. Tanzania has also been put on the list among foreign countries with access to the huge soybean market in China,” said Mr Kairuki.
He noted that oilseed supply in China was a key source of protein for animal feed and edible oil in China.
Equally, Director of African Affairs at China’s Foreign Ministry Wu Peng said the move reached by the two countries was expected to expand imports from Africa, a major initiative under the Action Plan of 2018 Focac Beijing Summit.
“Both China and Africa stand to benefit from stronger trade links. Under this new agreement, China will open the soybean market for Tanzania. Currently the agri-products Tanzania exports to China include sesame, sisal, tobacco and cashew nuts,” noted Mr Wu.
Agricultural Analyst Zirack Andrew pointed out that soybean production in the country was estimated at about 10,000 tonnes per annum in regions which were major producers, including Ruvuma and Iringa, while the rest were Mbeya, Morogoro and Manyara Regions.
Mr Andrew said the agreement placed Tanzanian farmers at a better position in securing a reliable market.
“The largest suppliers of soybean in China are Barazil and US, among others. Although the supply in Tanzania is still small because of the agreement the country will not be affected by any quantitative restrictions in case of any,” he said.
Besides soybeans, reports show that other crops that Tanzania trades with China include sesame, sisal, tobacco and cashew nuts.