Open Sesame! Mitsubishi, the Fuso Maker, wants oil seeds from Tanzania

Ambassador Baraka Luvanda in a picture with Michael Lagowski and Yu Horii of the Mitsubishi Corporation

They hatched a household name with their Pajero SUVs in the 90s and at the turn of the second Millennium, Mitsubishi built and equipped the Loduare Gate entrance to Ngorongoro as donation to Tanzania.

Now the Japanese group famous for Fuso trucks, elevators and excavators wants to invest in Tanzania’s agricultural sector, precisely Sesame seeds.

In fact, Mitsubishi has already started the venture.

This is according to the Deputy General Manager of the Mitsubishi Corporation, Department for Europe, Africa and the Middle East Team, Global Strategy and Regional Management,Michael Lagowski.

“Mitsubishi is now also importing over 2000 tons of Sesame seeds from Tanzania to Japan, annually,” said the Mitsubishi official when paying a courtesy call on the Tanzanian envoy to Japan, Ambassador Baraka Luvanda.

Loduare Gate, entrance to Ngorongoro and Serengeti from Arusha built equipped by Mitsubishi in 2012

Mr. Lagowski was accompanied by Ms Yu Horii from the same Department.

The courtesy meeting was also attended by Embassy officers, John Kambona, Greyson Ishengoma, Edna Chuku and Hosea Chikolongo.

Lagowski explained in detail about Mitsubishi Corporation business worldwide which has a global network of around 1,700 group companies in approximately 90 countries and regions worldwide, Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Within the African continent, the company has 11 offices in 11 African countries including, its liaison office in Tanzania.

Mitsubishi has 10 Business Groups that operate across, on the areas of Natural Gas, Industrial Materials, Petroleum and Chemical Solution, Mineral Resources, Industrial Infrastructure, Automotive and Mobility, Food Industry, Consumer Industry, Power Solution and Urban Development.

Fusos are the most popular cargo transporting trucks in rural Tanzania, they are possibly also carrying sesame seeds from the farms for export to Japan via Mitsubishi

Mr Lagowski said they were planning to invest more in Tanzania based on the favorable investment climate in the country at present.

The company has already implemented two investment projects in Tanzania in power infrastructure and trade, including, Rehabilitation of Substation and the Transmission Line in Kilimanjaro Region.

During the implementation of the power infrastructure project in Tanzania; the company was faced with a few challenges related to tax exemption and he was hopeful that they could be resolved once for all.

Ambassador Luvanda thanked Mr. Lagowski for an informative presentation and supported the company’s move to invest more in Tanzania.

He assured that the he would follow up on the challenges raised with the respective authorities in Tanzania. He also assured Mitsubishi Corporation about a current friendly and conducive investment environment in Tanzania with predictable legal, policy and institutional frameworks, favoring domestic and foreign investments.

Sesame is one of the main export oriented oilseed crops from Mtwara and Lindi who are currently the main producers in Tanzania. The regions account for 35 percent of the total sesame seeds export in Tanzania which benefits about 80,000 producers in the two regions.

Sesame is the perfect crop to help farmers in northern Tanzania changes their lives. It is drought tolerant, unlike maize and many of the other traditional crops in the region. It also has many uses in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals – creating a high demand both locally and internationally.