THE government has assured the country that there is enough sugar that can cater for all citizens for three consecutive months.
It is also currently reviewing its system of importing sugar, a work that was scheduled to be complete by October 2018.
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Charles Mwijage, told the National Assembly that as of September 5, 2018, there was 118,130.22 tonnes of sugar.
“The assessment for six months from March to August, 2018, on the availability of sugar in the country indicates that the sweetener was available without any problem,” he explained.
Last week, Mr Mwijage said he had formed a special task force to investigate the source of sugar imports that are flooding the market and paralysing production in local factories.
Mr Mwijage explained that the move was aimed at exposing the source for the imported sugar that is flooding the local market.
He said the task force included members from the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Foods and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).
“We have so far sniffed some criminal acts in the whole saga, just give me time and you will be informed of what transpired and tough action awaits the culprits,” said Mr Mwijage.
He told Parliament that it was true that the local market was being flooded by sugar imports, which have been repackaged into local factories packaging materials, thus paralyzing their production.
“It is true that our local sugar companies like Kagera Sugar, Kilombero and TPC are having stocks in warehouses which could not be sold for lack of market, while the country is swamped by imported products,” noted Mr Mwijage.
He said that the government had decided to make sugar a classified product, thus creating a big room for employment.
He made the remarks when responding to a supplementary question from Mr Jaku Hashim Masoud (CCM), on why the market has been flooded by sugar imports, thus creating unfair competition let alone endangering the companies’ future.
Yesterday, Mr Mwijage said there was enough sugar in the country adding that ex-factory sugar price was ranging between 1,746/- and 2,160/- per kilogramme.
“The retail price of sugar in May which had the highest price stood at 2,900/- in Kigoma Region while the lowest price was in August 2018 as the retail price of sugar stood at 2,300/- in Morogoro Region,’’ said the Minister.
The assessment according to Mr Mwijage shows that that there was weakness on the distribution of sugar in the country whereas in Kigoma (2,900), Ruvuma (2,850), Rukwa (2,850), Katavi (2,800), Mtwara (2,800) and Njombe (2,850) were buying sugar at higher prices than any other region.
The government has equally directed factory owners to improve sugar distribution system, so as to reduce the price of the important product to those regions compared to other regions.