Informer East Africa accepts donations to continue delivering daily news to you.

Donation Amount. Min £2

 

Tanzanian sugar regulators are embroiled in a feud with producers as they seek to enforce price caps on the commodity, amid a nationwide shortage.

Retail sugar prices have gone up twofold from an average of Tsh2,300 ($0.91) in November to between Tsh4,000 ($1.58) and Tsh6,000 ($2.37) per kilogramme, with fingers being pointed at factory owners, importers and traders for the artificial shortage.

Across the EAC, sugar prices average about $1.30 per kilo in Kenya, despite a government waiver on import duty from January last year; $1.35 in Uganda, $0.44 in Rwanda, $0.83 in Burundi, $1.92 in DR Congo, $2.36 in South Sudan and $3.14 in Somalia.

In response to a public outcry over the rising prices, the Sugar Board of Tanzania last month announced shop price caps of between Tsh2,700 ($1.07) and Tsh3,200 ($1.27), depending on point of sale within the country, which were to become effective on January 23 and remain until June 30.

Industry players responded by saying the prices were too low and would render their businesses unprofitable. Tanzania’s seven main sugar factories have since halted or slowed down production, exacerbating the shortage in retail shops while prices have remained high.

This comes at a particularly bad time for the Islamic community as Ramadhan approaches, a period when demand for sugar is highest.

Agriculture Minister Hussein Bashe has warned sugar producers and traders to desist from trying to force a reversal of the price cap by lobbying government officials and ruling CCM party politicians “behind the scenes”. He asserted that such methods would be fruitless as “this is not a matter that can be resolved politically.”

“In this country, there are only four people who can summon and question me about the price caps: the President, the Vice-President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister,” Mr Bashe said. “There is no one else who can cancel that decision.”

Earlier, in a January 24 post on his X account, Mr Bashe invited industry stakeholders aggrieved with the sugar board’s move on price cap to his office for consultations and “stop looking for short-cuts.”

The seven major sugar factories in Tanzania currently produce an average of 1,000 tonnes per day against national requirements of 1,500 tonnes per day and 490,000 tonnes annually, with the gap covered by imports.

The government’s target for this year was 500,000 tonnes before the latest disruptions caused by rains.

Mr Bashe said on January 21 that the government would issue permits to local producers and traders to import 100,000 tonnes of sugar immediately but warned against abusing the permits by hoarding supplies to inflate prices.

“If the factory owners and wholesalers continue to hoard supplies in order to push prices up, the government will revoke its protection for them against sugar imports. We cannot protect factories at the expense of consumers,” he said.

According to Mr Bashe, sugar prices in the local market are expected to stabilise by mid-February and the total import allocation to have arrived in the country by the end of February.

“The ministry will also continue to assess the rain situation and damage caused to sugarcane farms since we don’t want to import amounts of sugar that could kill local production altogether,” he said. - BOB KARASHANI, The EastAfrican

About IEA Media Ltd

Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.

To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854.
If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.

We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.

Get in touch

Our Offices

London, UK
+44 7886 544135
editor (@) informereastafrica.com
Slough, UK
+44 7957 636854
info (@) informereastafrica.com

Latest News

US, African partners prepare for start of exercise Justified Accord 2024

US, African partners...

Justified Accord 2024 is U.S. Africa Command's largest exercise in East Africa, running from Februar...

Tanzania set to host Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting on justice for all

Tanzania set to host...

The United Republic of Tanzania is all set to welcome ministers and attorneys-general to the Commonw...

Fossil Fuels Drive Both The Plastics And Climate Crises & Need An International Framework To Phase Them Out

Fossil Fuels Drive B...

On the opening day of the 6th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) meeting,...

Rwanda Space Agency and POLSA Strengthen Partnership Ties

Rwanda Space Agency...

Col. Ngabo and Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna. Credit: Rwanda Space Agency Ibadan, 27 February 2024. – The...

For Advertisement

Big Reach

Informer East Africa is one platform for all people. It is a platform where you find so many professionals under one umbrella serving the African communities together.

Very Flexible

We exist to inform you, hear from you and connect you with what is happening around you. We do this professionally and timely as we endeavour to capture all that you should never miss. Informer East Africa is simply news for right now and the future.

Quality News

We only bring to you news that is verified, checked and follows strict journalistic guidelines and standards. We believe in 1. Objective coverage, 2. Impartiality and 3. Fair play.

Banner & Video Ads

A banner & video advertisement from our sponsors will show up every once in a while. It keeps us and our writers coffee replenished.