Tanzania aims for sugar self-sufficiency by 2025-26 season

Dar es Salaam: The Sugar Board of Tanzania has come up with a bold plan meant to see the country achieve self-sufficiency in sugar by the 2025/26 season. This should see the end of sugar shortages that have become perennial in the country.

Speaking during a press briefing, SBT Director General Prof. Kenneth Bengesi explained how the government reacted regarding the recent sugar crisis. He noted the impact emanating from El Niño rains that he said delayed the initial goal of self-sufficiency this year.

“Without El Niño’s disruptions, we would have hit self-sufficiency this year,” said Prof. Bengesi, pointing out that the government was keen on averting shortages in the future through several ways.

Such plans shall include upgrading already existing sugar factories and more investment into the sector. The current demand for sugar in Tanzania stands at 552,000 metric tons, with an additional buffer that raises the demand to 650,000. Prof. Bengesi called for patience from the public since the new measures will target such demands.

‘The government has laid down measures to avert similar shortages in the future,” clarified Prof. Bengesi. Among them include the subsidization of factory expansions and encouraging more investment. The NFRA will also be mandated to import sugar to fill emerging gaps.

This has been in the offing for weeks after a standoff between the government, sugar producers, and traders. Sugar producers protested the delaying import permits, which they argued caused an earlier shortage that was vehemently denied by Prof. Bengesi.


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