The plant Agave sisalana, commonly known as sisal, produces some of nature’s longest and strongest plant fibers and thrives in Tanzania’s hot tropical climate. Up until 1961, Tanzania was the world’s foremost sisal producer after which cheap synthetic fiber claimed almost half the global sisal market.
Over the last three decades, sisal has made a comeback and Tanzania’s sisal industry has been revived.MeTL Group has played an important role over the years in the development of the country’s sisal industry and today produces over 30% of Tanzania’s total sisal output and is one of the nation’s major manufacturer of value-added sisal products.
TPM (1998) Ltd
For years, MeTL Group had been a prominent sisal grower. In 1998, the MeTL Group acquired Morogoro-based sisal bag manufacturing factory, TPM and later expanded to acquire another sisal bag-manufacturing unit in Moshi.
Sisal bags made of natural fiber are biodegradable; they provide aeration for the materials packed in it, do not emit any odors and are moisture-resistant. Bags made of hard fiber are also stronger and more durable than their synthetic counterparts. At TPM we do not use mineral oil for conditioning the sisal fiber but make use of palm oil which means that our bags are hydro-carbon free and suitable for packing food materials like coffee, beans, cashew nuts, pulses, cocoa, maize, cloves, etc.
Our bags are manufactured for specific uses and produced according to the various sizes and standards required by our customers. For example, for the Coffee Board, we produce a 50 kg capacity bag for Arabica coffee and a 60 kg bag for Robusta coffee and the standard 44” x 28” bag is manufactured for packing bolder products such as maize, cashew nuts, castor, etc. Our bags are manufactured according to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and are available countrywide.
In an effort to support the Government’s initiative to promote the sisal industry, TPM has increased production by expanding the process manufacturing time from a single to three shifts daily, employing about 650 people. We are keen to commission our Moshi plant once market demand is increased and we exceed 60% of our production capacity at the Morogoro plant.
We are also keen to diversify our product range and welcome any joint venture interest.
21st Century Holdings Ltd
MeTL Group further strengthened its forward integration in the sisal industry by acquiring one more sisal spinning mill located in Dar es Salaam in the year 2001, 21st Century Holdings. The company has since been refurbished to improve its product range and the production capacity currently stands at 3,000 MT per annum.
At 21st Century Holdings, we manufacture a wide range of sisal yarns for a variety of value-added applications including tie ropes, sisal fabric, specialty ropes, polishing cloths and specialty fine yarns for floor coverings. We have recently invested and installed a state-of-the-art dyeing plant to meet the needs of the European carpet weavers. Our export markets include Japan, India, The Yemen, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France and more recently, Ethiopia.