THE agricultural sugar sub-sector has the potential to generate US$45 million about (K225 billion) gross export and help reduce the local cost of sugar if well coordinated, a recent study findings has shown.
There is need for a policy framework aimed at increasing the private sector participation in the subsector.
The results for the study conducted by the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis has revealed the sugar sector was one of the most successful non-traditional export sectors in Zambia.
The sector accounts for three to four per cent of the National Gross Domestic Product and six per cent of total national exports from Zambia.
The report said the sugar industry was already providing employment for more than 1,000 workers, with a number of dependents exceeding 75,000 hence the need to put policy frame work aimed at improving the subsector.
According to the report, for the subsector to grow, the Government needed to invite more players in the sector stating the current structure in which the market was dominated by one firm had contributed to high domestic price of sugar despite Zambia being one of the lowest cost producers of sugar in the world.
The report said the subsector was one of the fields contributing to the Government's policy on value addition in that sugar canes were not exporting raw but processed into various products.
The report has urged the private sector to take advantage of the prevailing environment and produce more sugar especially that there was increased and deeper regional integration under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and Southern Africa Development Community.