Tanzania faces sugar shortfall due to low production

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 12, 2017
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Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Thursday 131,000 tonnes of sugar will be imported this year to fill existing shortfall.

Majaliwa told the National Assembly in the political capital Dodoma that there was sugar deficit of 100,000 tonnes annually caused by poor production of the commodity.

He said only 320,000 tonnes of sugar were being produced by four local manufacturers annually against the east African nation's annual demand of 420,000 tonnes.

Majaliwa said sugar importation permits have been issued and 80,000 tonnes have already been ordered. 35,000 tonnes of the commodity have been imported and distributed to markets across the country, the second largest economy in East Africa.

"We are making plans to import even more sugar especially during the holy month of fasting for Muslims. There is no need for traders to hike prices of sugar because the commodity is available in the market," he said.

Majaliwa said the government was aware of problems facing local sugar manufacturers, adding that authorities have been in talks with them on the need to increase productivity to meet the country's demand.

Majaliwa told the House that plans were underway to establish new sugar factories in Mbigiri and Mkulazi areas in Morogoro region.

He said the Mbigiri factory will be constructed with assistance from the National Service while the factory in Mkolazi will be jointly constructed by pension funds and investors.

In February this year, the Sugar Board of Tanzania said the country planned to increase sugar production from the current 300,000 tonnes annually to 420,000 tonnes by 2020/2012.

Henry Semwaza, the Director General of Sugar Board of Tanzania, said the government directed sugar factories in the east African country to increase production of the commodity.

Semwaza was speaking at a meeting that brought together stakeholders in the sugar industry held in Morogoro region, home to two major sugar industries.

"We want our sugar factories to expand and construct new industries in order to increase production to at least to 420,000 tonnes by 2020/2021," he said.

Semwaza added: "Owners of sugar factories will be required to support small-scale sugarcane growers in order to increase production."

Tanzania's four sugar manufacturing factories are TPC in Kilimanjaro region, Kagera Sugar Limited in Kagera region, Mtibwa Sugar Limited and Kilombero Sugar Company in Morogoro region.

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