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Tanzanian police seize over 100 wild tortoises near Mwanza 

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian police on Sunday announced the seizure of over 100 tortoises that were about to be smuggled to European countries and the United States through South Africa.

Singida Regional Police Commander Sweetbert Njewike said that a suspect was found with 114 tortoises, packed in different bags, while travelling to Tanzania’s southwestern region of Mbeya from the lake zone region of Mwanza.

He described the seized tortoises, which have a street value of 7,792 U.S. dollars, as leopard tortoises, a grazing species that favors semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats.

Njewike said police acted on a tip-off and arrested the suspect upon searching a passenger bus.

The suspect, identified as Jafari Shongwe, was planning to smuggle the animals to South Africa through the Tanzania-Zambia border and eventually to Europe and the United States, he added.



Tanzania: new strategy to boost sugar production

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has embarked on a new strategy aimed at boosting sugar production from the current 300,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes by producing and distributing quality seeds to farmers, a senior official said Sunday.

Godfrey Mkamilo, executive director of the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI), said the strategy goes together with provision of better agronomic practices like proper use of inputs and seeds that can withstand drought and pests.

He said the move is also geared toward saving money that the government has been using to import more than 200,000 tonnes of sugar annually.

“We have decided to rescue government money. We have decided to increase our seed production, which will be distributed to farmers so that they increase their production,” the official said in an interview.

“The program is part of TARI to support the government’s efforts to improve sugar production in the country,” he added.

“We are determined to conduct research and bring the best seeds,” Mkamilo said.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli Recently issued 10,000 hectares of land to one of Tanzania’s business and industrial moguls, Said Salim Bakhresa, to establish a sugar plant. The factory is expected start producing sugar by July 2020.

Tanzania produces an average of 300,000 tonnes of sugar per year with a demand of 590,000 tonnes, of which 420,000 tonnes for direct domestic consumption and the remaining 170,000 tonnes for industrial use.

The sugar industry in Tanzania provides direct employment to about 30,000 people. 



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