Tanzania sugar: Price rise leaves bitter taste
Tanzania is facing a sugar shortage, despite being a relatively large-scale producer of the commodity.
This has caused prices to soar, as the BBC’s Sammy Awami reports.
Tanzania has banned all importation of sugar for local consumption as a short term measure to protect local manufacturers, Dr John Magufuli, Tanzania’s president issued the new directive in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
According to the president any sugar deficit would be covered after the responsible authority seeks approval from the Office of the Presidency.
Tanzania’s annual sugar demand currently stands at 300,000 tonnes, out of which 50,000 tonnes are refined industrial sugar while the remaining 250,000 tonnes is for home consumption. However local producers are able to provide only 120,000 tons a year.
The president said the decision to ban the importation of sugar is based on grounds that some few government officials in power had been misusing their powers to issue orders on importation of sugar for their own selfish interests.
While such a decision would trigger an increase in the price of sugar which stands at Tzshs2, 200 (about US$1) per kilo in the local market, local investors who have been demanding the government to ban importation of sugar to protect their investments, have welcomed it.
However Dr Magufuli said that if domestic import of sugar was well checked, it would be able to create jobs and lower the price of the commodity.