TANZANIA has made great strides in exports through Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) as it recorded 590 tonnes of horticultural and fish products during the Covid-19 pandemic stint.
Tanzania enjoyed continued production and consequent exports of vegetables, flowers and fish when some countries maintained total or partial lockdowns not preferred by President John Magufuli.
Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Atashasta Nditiye said at KIA the tonnes were transported from KIA by Ethiopian Airline cargo planes, the airline that had its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Mr Nditiye noted that by such huge exports, it meant that incomes at KIA run by Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (Kadco) had been impressive given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on other economies.
“To transport 590 tonnes of goods means a lot. It is a good income to Kadco and the government and we plan to procure cargo planes to benefit the country and its people, including businesspersons in the market, stay tuned,” he said.
He called on Kadco management to be more proactive and ensure it increased revenue by doing more business to enable the government make more and provide reliable social services.
The deputy minister said the government planned to buy cargo planes and improve the aviation industry as it eyed to transport more goods to Europe and American countries because the business paid more than passenger planes.
Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner (RC) Anna Mghwira urged government institutions that dealt with aviation and procurement of planes to do more so that the country entered the market sooner than later as citizens had started growing more vegetables, flowers and engaged in fishing activities.
The RC said once the government owned and started operating cargo planes, there would be an increase in incomes, adding that the Northern Zone of Tanzania had the potential for the production of horticultural goods and called on more individuals and organisations to utilise present opportunities.
Kadco Acting Managing Director Mary Kimambo said they were well-prepared to transport even more goods from the Northern Zone and other parts of Tanzania to different destinations in the world. She said they had enough storage facilities as well as working equipment.