Tanzania bans importation of sugar to protect local firms
Sugarcane farm Photo: AFP
Tanzania has announced that it will stop issuing new permits for importation of sugar effective June, to protect local manufacturers.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage said the government will only maintain the import licences currently in place as it seeks to boost local production.
The government has issued permits for the importation of 130,000 tonnes to fill the current supply gap for domestic and industrial sugar. There is a deficit of about 125,000 tonnes, which will be imported from India, Brazil, Thailand and other Asian states.
Local sugar factories are expected to increase production this year to feed the local demand. With a 50 million population, Tanzania’s annual sugar consumption is estimated at 590,000 tonnes, out of which 135,000 tonnes are for industrial use.
President John Magufuli also said the government has encouraged sugar manufacturers to invest in the country to stem imports.
Sugar in Tanzania is produced by four large companies — Kilombero Sugar Company, majority owned by South Africa’s Illovo Sugar, Mtibwa, Kagera and TPC, a unit of Mauritius sugar producer Alteo.
Strategic areas where sugar plants will be established the next four years are in the Rufiji River Valley, Kigoma, Kilosa, Ngerengere and Bagamoyo, all earmarked for sugarcane cultivation