Museveni Negotiates Access To Tanzanian Sugar Market

1455 Views

In short
President Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Joseph Magufuli met Wednesday at State House Entebbe. They discussed possibilities of Tanzania opening up its market to Ugandan sugar.

Ugandan sugar manufacturers could access to the Tanzanian market once the Tanzania agrees to the Ugandan request.

President Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Joseph Magufuli met  Wednesday at State House Entebbe. They discussed possibilities of Tanzania opening up its market to Ugandan sugar.

Not much details were available from the meeting attended by Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa and his Tanzanian counterpart, Augustine Mahiga. The meeting was also attended by Uganda's Minister of Public Service, Muruli Mukasa.

But it seemed a follow up from suggestions by the East African Council of Ministers that Rwanda and Tanzania should give priorities to member states that have excess sugar production.

Tanzania and Rwanda were under the EAC arrangement allowed to import 70,000 and 100,000 tonnes of sugar respectively. 

Tanzania's sugar import within in East Africa would attract a fifty percent duty compared to 100% import duty from other countries out of East Africa while Rwanda's sugar had been cleared to import sugar at 25% duty in the region.

Uganda is said to be the largest producer of granular brown sugar in the East African Community, accounting for about 500,000 metric tonnes annually as of May 2017.  The total domestic consumption in Uganda in 2014 was estimated at 320,000MT.

President Magufuli is in Uganda to attend the 19th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit opening tomorrow.

A state House statement said President Museveni asked his guest to encourage Tanzania business entrepreneurs to buy sugar from Uganda. Museveni reportedly said there is surplus production of sugar in the country.

President Magufuli reportedly promised to help address the sugar deficit in Tanzania.
"Sugar production in Tanzania is low. We always have a deficit in the months of January, February and March. Buying sugar from Uganda defines the business of EAC," said President Magufuli.

Tanzania's annual domestic sugar consumption is about 420,000 tones while local production is 320,000 tones. This leaves a deficit of about 100,000 tones a year to be cushioned by imports from Brazil, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
The sugar industry in Uganda contributes significantly to the economy of the country.
 
The three top Uganda sugar companies are said to have contributed over sh62.5b (US $34m) by way of taxes in 2005, directly employ over 15,000 persons. Provide extension services (including supply of inputs and equipment services on credit) and purchase sugarcane from over 7,000 farmers.