Tanzania government committed to protect sugar industry

The government has reaffirmed its dedication to safeguarding investors and sugar factories by fostering a favorable environment for investment and business activities, reported IPP Media.

Minister of State in the President’s Office (Planning and Investment), Prof Kitila Mkumbo, assured the National Assembly that significant reforms have been implemented to protect investments in the country.

While addressing MPs’ concerns during the debate on the National Development Plan 2024/25, Prof Mkumbo refuted allegations that the government was insufficiently supporting local sugar producers, clarifying that measures taken are not intended to reduce production or harm industries.

He highlighted the government’s substantial investment in the sector, noting that 7.2 billion TZS has been allocated for sugarcane seedling production, benefiting growers nationwide. Additionally, 12.5 billion TZS has been designated for irrigation infrastructure in Kilimanjaro region sugar cane farms. A feasibility study for an irrigation project in Kilombero, Morogoro Region, is also underway, conducted by an Ethiopian-based company.

Prof Mkumbo informed the assembly that the government has exempted 244 billion TZS in taxes for sugar factories to ensure their profitability and increased sugar production. “The government’s efforts to promote sugar production and support local factories are extensive. It is therefore troubling when accusations arise that we are undermining local producers,” he stated.

He emphasized the substantial investment in the sugar industry, valued at 4.2 trillion TZS, asserting that sabotaging such a significant sector would be illogical for the government.

On Monday, MPs largely endorsed the government’s proposal to empower the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to purchase and store sugar, aiming to stabilize prices. Agriculture Minister Hussein Bashe introduced the proposal last month during the presentation of his ministry’s 1.249 trillion TZS budget for 2024/25 in Parliament. Since this requires amending the law governing NFRA, the proposal is included in the Finance Bill, 2024, which MPs debated last Monday. Bashe informed Parliament that sugar factories tasked with importing sugar to compensate for local production shortfalls had not effectively met their obligations.



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