Tanzania has entered the export wine market. From a few grape vines planted by Italian?
Tanzania has entered the export wine market. From a few grape vines planted by Italian missionaries to produce wine for the Holy Mass, the production has expanded to 300,000 litres a year. And with a widening export market among other African states, plans are being made to double the quantity over the next twelve months.
Tanzania's new-found wines come from the Dodoma region. There are three major vineyard areas - one of which is Dodoma prison. Convicts there work out their sentences in producing 60% of the country's now vital grape crop.
VISNEWS cameraman Paul Toulmin-Rothe filmed this story among the prisoners of Dodoma.
SYNOPSIS: Tanzania's Dodoma Central Prison vineyards are putting a boost into the country's economy. With wine fast becoming a big export commodity, the prison produces sixty per cent of the vital crop of grapes.
The prison's grape business began twelve years ago. A few vines were planted to produce Holy Mass wine or Italian missionaries, and then it was discovered that the vines thrived in Dodoma's dry climate, With official blessing, the business expanded.
Today, with other vineyards planted around Dodoma, Tanzania is producing 300,000 litres of wine annually. But with export markets opening up throughout other African states, it is planned to double the quantity over the next twelve months. Production is expanding rapidly, and a new processing and bottling plant has been built to cope with the demand for Dodoma's red and rose wines and grappa-the spirit fermented from white grapes. Under the supervision of the state-owned National milling corporation, which controls all food processing in Tanzania, the wine business is providing the country with an entirely new export commodity. And the growth in demand for the product of their vineyards could transform Dodoma into a highly prosperous region.