M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania Looks to Sweeten Sugar Output

Posted on : Thursday, 3rd November 2016

 The Tanzania Minister for Industry and Trade, Charles Mwijage (top) wants sugar producers to increase output from 100,000 metric tonnes to 300,000 mts annually to stabilize fluctuating prices writes DAMAS MAKANGALE.

Speaking at a news conference last week in Dar es Salaam during the announcement of major a industrial exhibition that is due in December, Mwijage asked sugar producers to increase production to meet increasing high demand in the market.
"They should find new alternatives and ways to increase the production of the sugar product in the country and that will make the price more stable, because of its availability," he said.
According to Tanzania Sugar Board (TSB), the country currently consumes 590,000 mts of sugar annually, while the four local sugar plants Tanganyika Plantation Company (TPC), Kagera, Kilombero and Mtibwa are currently supplying only 291,000 mts for the same period.
This leaves a considerable deficit that is mostly filled by illegal or cheap imports. The imports in turn adversely affect the sales of locally produced sugar.
However, despite the massive sugar imports the price of sugar has remained relatively high, selling at between Tsh2, 000 ($1.20) and Tsh2, 500 ($1.60) per kilo as opposed to the government's hopes of lowering the prices to between Tsh1, 600 ($.0.98) and Tsh1, 700 ($1.02) by allowing sugar imports.
Tanzania's sugar industry is monitored and regulated by the Sugar Baord of Tanzania.
The SBT is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives. SBT was established under Section 3 of the Sugar Industry Act No. 26 of 2001 which came into operation on July 1st 2003.
The Act was however revised in 2009. Under the revised Act, SBT is now a regulatory and licensing body of the sugar industry financed by the government and from own sources.
The Board is also responsible for sustainable development of the country's sugar industry as well as achievement of sugar self sufficiency and promotion of export.
Government nationalization of private firms in 1967 saw the National Food Corporation (NAFCO) taking charge of the development of the sugar sector; resulting into establishment of the Mtibwa sugar Estates in 1973 and Ruembe Sugar Factory (Kilombero II) in 1976.The small Kagera sugar plant damaged by war in 1978 was also re-erected into a large sugar plant commissioned in 1982.
In 1974, the government set up the Sugar Development Corporation (SUDECO) in place of NAFCO to develop the sugar industry and handle sugar distribution, exportation and importation. In 1992, the sugar trade was liberalized followed by privatization, starting with Kilombero in 1997/98, in 1998/99 Mtibwa, TPC 2000/01 and finally Kagera in 2001/2002
Meanwhile Mwijage said the industrial exhibition would give a comprehensive picture on performance of the industrial sector. The theme is goes 'Tanzania now we are moving to an industrial economy'.
"To mark one year of the fifth phase government, on December the Ministry is organizing industrial exhibition, among other programmes, Tanzanians will be able to know the efforts of the fifth phase government since it took over reign last year," he explained.
Mwijage said so far more than 3,800 industries have been built within a period of one year, adding Tanzanians should prefer using local products produced in the country.
He told local producers to stick to quality standards to meet the demands of both the local and international markets.
He assured investors the Ministry is strengthening border and port inspections to block sub-standard goods.
"As Minister for Trade I am responsible to protect both consumers and local producers in the country, I want to assure both of them that the Ministry together with other ministries we are intensifying border patrol and inspections to make sure sub-standard goods do not cross our boundaries," he said.

Source : allafrica.com
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