Indian pulses processors explore investment opportunities in East Africa

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The delegates visiting one of Tanzania's leading pulses exporters.

By Devika Jyothi

  • SITA organised an investment promotion mission to East Africa  comprising four firms from India’s pulses sector from 2 to 9 March 2019.
  • Apart from establishing trade relationships, the companies were also exploring investments in processing.
  • The visit to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda was eye-opening for the four companies which had no prior engagement with the East African pulses sector.

 In March 2019, SITA organised a pulses investment mission comprised of representatives from Indian SMEs to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. The mission  was organised  in response to interest generated during the agri-investment seminars held in Kanpur and Mumbai in December 2018, where  government officials and investment promotion agencies from Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia had invited Indian millers and processors to invest .

In Ethiopia, the delegation visited the Debre-Birhan Industrial Park – an industrial park fully dedicated to agro-processing – to see the infrastructure available at the park, discuss incentives and benefits of setting up a plant within the park and the procedures for setting up operations. In Tanzania, the delegates were taken on a tour of the Benjamin Mkapa Export Processing Zone (EPZ); while in Uganda, they visited the Industrial and Investment Park at Namanve to assess opportunities available for foreign investors.

The delegates touring a pulses processing plant in Ethiopia.

The Indian processors, who had no prior direct access to traders from the region, have now expressed  interest in establishing direct trade links. One of the companies will undertake a feasibility study of setting up a processing unit in Tanzania.

Mr. Rupesh Rathi of RR Udyog, Akola, a member of the delegation  said,  ‘At the onset, I was not sure whether I wanted to take away time from my business and pay for a flight to come and explore the opportunities in the pulses sector in East Africa. However, from the meetings that I had, I have no doubt that this was a good investment on my end.’

Currently, the Indian market imposes  quantitative restrictions on the import of certain categories of pulses. SITA will  support Indian companies interested in investing in processing units in East Africa to facilitate for export globally.  

 ‘Through my interactions with the SITA team and with companies in the pulses value chain in East Africa, I have been challenged to expand the frontiers of my business. There are numerous opportunities that are yet to be exploited,’ remarked Mr. Kishor Agarwal of Balaji Tirupati Pulses, Akola.

As the Indian companies explore possibilities, SITA will continue its work to increase investment in East Africa’s pulses sector.  

Voices of SITA
Voices of SITA
This blog provides a window into the SITA project. Through stories from India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, this blog showcases the project’s progress and impact.