Tanzania: Govt threatens to take legal action against traders hiking sugar price

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: The government has declared its intent to take legal action against traders who unjustifiably raise sugar prices, citing a shortage in the market, reported Dailynews.

Professor Kenneth Bengesi, Director General of the Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT), issued a stern warning in Dar es Salaam, asserting that some unscrupulous individuals aim to profit excessively by inflating sugar prices. Prof Bengesi emphasized that such actions would not be tolerated, and rigorous measures would be implemented to address this malpractice.

Indicative sugar prices, according to Prof Bengesi, should range between 2,800/- to 3,500/- depending on geographical location. However, current retail prices have surged beyond these indications, fluctuating between 3,800/- and 4,300/- per kilo. The Director General rejected any justification for price hikes based on production falls or increased transport costs.

In response to the situation, the government has recently issued sugar import permits, with the first consignment expected to arrive early next week to alleviate the price surge. Prof Bengesi underscored the government’s commitment to ensuring citizens do not suffer due to the actions of a few unscrupulous traders during this transition period towards sufficient sugar supply.

Additionally, he highlighted the significance of local sugar production for job creation and economic benefits across various sectors. Two new sugar factories, Lake Agro in Rufiji and Mufindi Paper Mills Sugar in Kasulu, Kigoma Region, are slated to begin production in 2026 and 2027, respectively, adding to the existing six factories.

Prof Bengesi acknowledged challenges in achieving the government’s sugar production target last year due to adverse weather conditions, resulting in a production shortfall. The government permitted the importation of 50,000 tonnes of sugar for January and February this year to address shortages caused by heavy rains disrupting harvests.

While sugar factories have resumed production, the Director General noted that the weather remains unstable. The government continues to strive for self-sufficiency in sugar production to stabilize prices and reduce dependence on imports.


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