Mwinyi points path for SADC to increase sugar production

ZANZIBAR: ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has advised Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to utilise the opportunities available in the bloc, to create conducive investment environment that heightens sugar production.

Opening annual conference for sugar producers from SADC countries in Zanzibar on Wednesday, Dr Mwinyi explained that creating a better environment in cluding removing obstacles, will enable expansion of internal market within the bloc and open more opportunities for sugar trade in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the World in general.

The 2024 conference theme is “Towards a Competitive Sugar Industry in Africa,” and the Zanzibar President commended SADC partner states for developing the sugar industry through the official procedures reflected in ‘SADC Trade Protocol.”

He said that the theme calls on governments to set up and improve the investment environment, so that the industry can be competitive and bring more benefits to the people.

“In achieving our objectives, we have to face challenges such as competition in the global market, quality, subsidies, and the difficulty in obtaining investment capital for the production of sugar.

However, in the face of these challenges, Dr Mwinyi said, “There are opportunities to increase production, I ask all stakeholders participating in this conference to realise that to achieve the goal for more production, we need to invest in modern technologies and agricultural methods that increase productivity at high levels.”

He said that with workable reforms, the sugar industry in the region will definitely grow, be sustainable, integrated, and highly competitive to meet the current need in Africa.

Dr Mwinyi said that the sugar conference has a special importance for the SADC countries, because it is the implementation of strategies set to develop the industry.

He mentioned that in Tanzania, sugar is a priority in the agriculture sector, and that with that importance; both governments have taken several measures to increase production and protect the local market.

He thanked the ministries responsible for agriculture; trade and industries; the secretariat of the SADC Sugar Technical Committee, Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT) and others for hosting the conference.

The Chairman of the sugar producers in the country, Mr Seif Ali Seif, emphasized the issue of more investment in the production of the commodity, to enable SADC countries to meet the demands of the product.

“Sugar producers want better laws and policies as well as guidelines that will attract investors to invest in the sector and bring major economic reforms and generate jobs in sugarcane farming,” he said.

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