The plant Agave Sisalana, commonly known as sisal, produces some of nature’s longest and strongest plant fibers. It thrives in Tanzania’s soils and hot tropical climate. Up until 1961, Tanzania was the world’s leading sisal producer. At that time sisal was a preferred material for agricultural twine (“binder” and “baler” twine). Synthetic fiber then became more popular and claimed almost half the global sisal market. However, over the last three decades sisal has been making a strong comeback with an increasing preference for natural fiber twine, as well as a number of other innovative uses. This has led to the revival of Tanzania’s sisal industry.

Apart from ropes, twines and general cordage, sisal is now also used to make both low-cost and specialty paper, dartboards, buffing cloth, filters, geo textiles, mattresses, carpets and wall coverings, handicrafts, wire rope cores and macramé. In the construction industry, sisal reinforces plaster in ceilings and walls, acts as a binding material for plaster moldings, and acts a strengthening agent to replace asbestos and fiberglass. Sisal is also increasingly used in the automobile industry.

MeTL Group operates 11 sisal plantations covering a total land area of over 40,000 hectares, in five regions of Tanzania—Morogoro, Tanga, Coast, Kilimanjaro and Lindi.

Advantage:

13,000 hectares of standing sisal crop of which 70% is in mature sisal plantations. Decortication factories, processing sisal leaves into fiber, on all11 of its sisal estates.

Good working conditions and established housing, labor facilities, access roads, schooling and dispensaries on all its farms. A rolling program of maintenance and replacement of utility vehicles and farm equipment on each estate.

Increased demand for environmentally friendly biodegradable products such as sisal fiber to replace synthetic products.

Versatility of Products:

Annual rain-fed food crops and irrigated cash crops can be grown on a commercial scale on fallow lands on sisal estates. MeTL Group has done extensive research and feasibility studies for crops such as oil palm, cotton and cassava, while cotton and cashew nuts are already growing.

The bulk of sisal fiber produced on MeTL Group’s estates has value added, either via the Group’s sisal bag manufacturing company or the group’s sisal-spinning mill (refer to Agro Processing pages). Excess fiber is then mainly exported to markets in the Middle East, Europe, Nigeria and India.Sisal waste pulp is a potent biogas material with a potential to produce electricity. MeTL Group’s 11 decorticators are capable of producing 6 - 12 mega watts of energy. An approximate $2 million investment is in the pipeline to commission each center to produce one mega-watt of power from freely available sisal waste material.

Capacity:

MeTL Group produces approximately 10,000 tons of sisal fibre per annum, which is 35% contribution to the total Tanzania’s sisal production.

Projection:

MeTL Group envisages doubling its land capacity to produce 18,000 - 20,000 tons of sisal fibre per annum to meet growing domestic and export demand.

Vision

MeTL Group is committed to position itself as the most preferred provider of sisal product supply and solutions in the country by building enduring partnerships with customers, improving agricultural processing productivity and quality, improving the quality of life for all communities where MeTL Group operates and creating value for all stake holders.

Estate Name Land Area Hectares Location
Estimate Alavi 6,839 Kibaha Coast Region
Fatemi Estate 3,635 Ngerengere Morogoro Region
Mjesani Estate 2,880 Tanga Tanga Region
Tanga Tanga Region 2,513 Bamba Estate
Mombo Tanga Region 3,798 Lanzoni Estate
Mombo Tanga Region 1,750 Mazinde Estate
Mombo Tanga Region 2,995 Mabogo Estate
Mombo Tanga Region 3,106 Kwaalukonge Estate
Makany Kilimanjaro Region 2,406 Hassani Estate
Makany Kilimanjaro Region 2,175 Hussein Estate
Lindi Region 5,200 Kikwetu Estate