Govt reiterates willingness to support local sugar sector

The government has reinstated its readiness to support the sugar industry in its endeavours to make the country self reliance on the consumable.

Investment and Empowerment Minister Mary Nagu has underscored the need for sugarcane growers and other stakeholders to come together and address sugar shortages in the country.

“The government is committed to ensure that the country does not experience sugar shortage. We shall do this by putting all the necessary procedures in place,” Dr Nagu said while touring Kilombero Sugar Company Limited (KSCL) in Morogoro.

The Minister also met with some of the sugarcane outgrowers associations’ leaders and listened to their concerns, according to release by KSCL.

One of the associations’ leaders, Mr Amani Gelege, pleaded with the government to issue title deeds to farmers as it is the only means through which farmers will access credit facilities from financial institutions.

“Getting access to credit facilities is not easy since financial institutions believe that the farms do not belong to the farmers (but) title deeds will enable farmers access to loans (thus) increasing sugarcane production,” Mr Gelege said.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Adam Malima, who also accompanied Dr Nagu during the visit, urged farmers to liaise with the Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT) in search for lasting solutions to their problems.

“We believe that we can handle the problem of sugar shortage in the country and avoid importation...this will only happen if we share the challenges we face,” said Mr Malima.

The domestic demand for direct consumptions of sugar in Tanzania is around 400,000 metric tons per annum and with annual domestic production of around 320,000mt, the country faces a deficit of 80,000mt.

But, actual quantity of sugar imported over the past 12 months was slightly over 200,000 metric tons.According to Mark Bainbridge, KSCL Managing Director, the net result has been a huge accumulation of unsold sugar by local producers.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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