Tanzania aims to raise sugar production by about 31 percent over the next four years to meet domestic demand, the prime minister’s office said on Wednesday.
Local growers produce around 320,000 tonnes of raw sugar per year against demand of 420,000 tonnes, with imports from Brazil and elsewhere filling the deficit.
President John Magufuli in February tightened restrictions on sugar imports, leading to nationwide shortages and pushing up the local price.
“The government is determined to protect domestic sugar factories to ensure they boost sugar production in order to do away with imports,” Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa’s office said in a statement.
The goal is to increase production by 100,000 tonnes by 2020 to fully cover the annual deficit.
Sugar production in Tanzania comes mainly from four large companies, which include Kilombero Sugar company, majority owned by South Africa’s Illovo Sugar, and TPC, a unit of Mauritius sugar producer Alteo.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Duncan Miriri/Ruth Pitchford)