Upon completion, the plant whose cost is estimated at between 50bn/- and 100bn/-, will produce 1,000 units of tractors annually, creating over 1,200 jobs, according to Quality Groupâ€™s Chief Operating Officer, Kostantinos Vasileiadis.
Mr Vasileiadis and Sonalika President Gaurav Saxena inked the agreement at a brief ceremony in Dar es Salaam at the presence of the Indian firmâ€™s Managing Director, Mr Deepak Mittal.
There is huge market for tractors in Tanzania and her partners in the East African Community (EAC) ... presently, Tanzania imports between 800 and 1,000 tractors every year,â€ Mr Vasileiadis remarked.
He pointed out that many farmers in rural areas remain unable to purchase the imported machines due to high prices, noting that the assembly plant in the country will substantially lower the prices of the agricultural machinery.
The plan is to start with assembly of completely-knocked-down units and then move to complete manufacture of tractors,â€ he explained. Adding; The central aspect will be skill development and training programmes for Tanzanian technicians and engineers ... Sonalika plans to augment its local training programmes with internships at its India based centre.
The project financing, according to Mr Vasileiadis, is expected from the Indian government through the Exim Bank at what he described as â€œvery low interest rates. Speaking at the occasion, Mr Saxena said the Indian company has the capacity of producing 150,000 tractors per year, with 700,000 customers spread in 82 countries worldwide.
Sonalika is the third largest tractor manufacturing company in India with a 12 per cent market share ... the firm has been able to increase its market share by 50 per cent during the past four years,â€ Mr Saxena explained.
He said the company currently operates in Brazil, Argentina, Iran and Algeria and plans are underway to expand the network by setting up assembly plants in the United States and China.
The latest initiative by Quality Group and Sonalika International Tractors Limited will put Morogoro on the forefront of industrialisation, fulfilling the vision of President John Magufuli to industrialise the economy.