Mbeya regional authorities and Tanzania Airport Authorities (TAA) are in talks with eligible fuel distributing companies in the country to provide refuelling systems at Mbeya’s Songwe airport, which hitherto operates without the refuelling services.
“We are communicating with different oil companies that can set up aviation refuelling stations at a reasonable price,” the Regional Commissioner for Mbeya, Abbas Kandoro said.
According to Mr Kandoro, construction of the airport is moving at a fast pace as the region seeks to boost its economy through the export of fruits – flowers and vegetables – will soon be produced in the region.
“So far, three quarters of the airport apron, (the area where aircrafts are parked, loaded and unloaded or refuelled), have been completed. Another area which is undergoing final touches is the terminal for incoming and outgoing passengers,” he said, adding that the airport envisages handling large aircrafts.
On his visit to Mbeya on May Day, President Jakaya Kikwete challenged Mbeya based entrepreneurs to adopt modern techniques in production of high quality fruits for export markets. He also encouraged them to expand vegetable and flower production to meet external demand, thanks to conducive climate in the region.
The horticulture industry in Mbeya offers great business opportunity through exports to the European Union and Middle East countries.
The region has favourable climate and skilled manpower for growing production of fruits like pineapples, avocados and peaches as well as vegetables and flowers. The area under horticulture is estimated at 8,000 hectares that produce 24.025 tons of vegetables and fruits, annually.
As reported by the Tanzania Daily News