In Summary
  • The ‘Kuja na Kushoka Tools Manufacturers Group’ is seeking Sh300 million to expand its briquette making business

Dar es Salaam. A local up-and-coming entrepreneur is seeking Sh300 million for increasing production of affordable machines designed to produce alternative cooking energy by using sawdust and crop residues.

For lack of sufficient capital, the company – ‘Kuja na Kushoka Tools Manufactures Group’ – can only produce 40 briquette-making machines instead at 300 per month.

Each of the machines can manufacture up to 100 kilogrammes of the ‘alternative charcoal’ a day.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, the company’s managing director, Mr Leonard Kushoka, said the Tabora-based manufactory has already trained a number of youth on how to assemble the machines.

“This year, we set a production target of 300 machines every month. However, to achieve this goal, we need not less that Sh300 million to boost our capital.” Mr Kushoka said.

“But, while we are seeking the funding, we will continue to sensitise people on why they should use our environment-friendly machines for domestic use.”

He noted that the technology was not new, stressing it has been in use in countries like China, India and Canada.

“The only difference is that it is now available in Tanzania and we are using it to produce machines, which are affordable and easy to use,” he said.

He further stated that the prices of the machines differ, ranging from Sh1 million to Sh15 million apiece, depending on their production capacity.

He said the machine that costs Sh1 million can produce 100 kilogrammes of briquettes a day, which can be used two days later.

A similar machine in Canada retails at about Sh75 million, Mr Kushoka said.

According to him, 60 per cent of the waste that is produced in Dar es Salaam comes in the form of crop residues. He said this is suitable raw material for manufacturing the alternative charcoal.

Mr Kushoka further revealed that the briquettes manufactured by his company are mostly sold to more than 50 food vendors at the Ubungo Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam.

The technology has helped the vendors to reduce their cooking costs from Sh6,000 a day to Sh3,000 only through the use of the ‘Kuja na Kushoka’-made briquettes.

“When we get the support we need, we will certainly expand our business,” he said, adding: “This technology will help stem the tide of deforestation.”