Tanzania: Sugar Demand Soars 16 Per Cent to 710,000 Tons

TANZANIA'S sugar de- mand has increased by over 16 per cent from 610,000 tonnes last year to 710,000 tonnes this year.

Speaking during Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa's official tour of Kilombero factory in Morogoro Region, Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba attributed the rise in demand to in- creasing new industries that use the sweetener, with the current demand for industrial sugar reaching 165,000 tonnes.

Mr Mgumba said the domestic demand for sugar is currently 545,000 tonnes, with Kilombero Sugar Com- pany Limited producing 134,000 tonnes.

Other manu- facturers with their produc- tion in brackets are Manyara factory (6,000 tonnes), Mtibwa Sugar Estates Limited (39,000 tonnes) and Tanganyika Planting Company Limited (100,000 tonnes.)

"The government has adopted a strategy to establish new sugar industries, including Bagamoyo Sugar Limited that will start with 35,000 tonnes by 2022, to ease the shortage of sugar in the country," said Mr Mgumba, adding that Mkulazi Holding Company Limited (MHCL) and Mbigiri factory are also expected to produce 200,000 and 50,000 tonnes, respectively.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa pledged government support for Kilombero Company initiatives aimed at expanding production, saying the government is de-termined to use more inves- tors in the industry to fix the sugar demand supply gap, bolster industrial growth and create jobs.

"We have put priority on sugar factory investments and we continue persuading investors to build more factories in other areas as well... we still have enough land.

Here in Morogoro, for instance, there is arable land at Mkulazi and despite the government plans to establish the sugar factory at the area, there is still space for you (Kilombero Sugar) to build another plant," explained the premier.

Majaliwa noted that as part of its efforts to encourage growth of the domestic sugar factories, the government prohibited importation of sugar, which was imped- ing growth of the country's manufacturers and the government now encourages the use of sugar from domestic industries.

He reminded the sugar firm against focusing its investments on expansion of the sugar plant but also to consider its employees and cane growers.Kilombero Sugar Company Chairman Ambassador Ami Mpungwe appreciated the government's continued support to the company especially now that it is in the expansion process.

"Our expansion project is in the final stages of feasibility study before it gets approval from the company's board and its shareholders, including Ki- lombero Holdings with 75 per cent shares and the government of Tanzania that controls 25 per cent shares," said Ambassador Mpungwe.

He pleaded with the government to issue its approval as one of the shareholders to allow the project execution.

Ambassador Mpungwe pledged the company's continued support to the government towards ensuring that the sugar company attains its government's vision to produce enough sugar for local consumption and eventually achieve the industrial and middle-class economy by 2025.

During the last parliamentary session, Mr Mgumba told legislators that sugar production in the country had increased by 16.8 per cent as manufacturers attempt to fill bridge the demand- supply gap.

He said production has increased from 307,431.26 tonnes in 2017/18 to 359,219.25 in 2018/19.

The increase came as the government allowed manufac- turers instead of traders to import sugar to meet deficit in the market.

"Production of sugarcane has also increased from 568,083 tonnes in 2017/18 to 708,460 tonnes in the 2018/19 farming season," said Mr Mgumba.

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