Agriculture Minister Japhet Hasunga and his Industry and Trade counterpart Innocent Bashungwa met in Dodoma yesterday and announced cap prices to apply in various regions, with the lowest being 2,600/- per kilogramme and the highest as 3.200/- per kilo.
This means the average price per kilo is 2,900/- which is still higher than 2,500/- the sweetener retailed in recent weeks before prices ripped through the roof and reached 4,400/- per kilo in many parts of the country.
Cap prices announced yesterday had it that residents of Dar es Salaam Region will pay 2,600/- per kilo while those living in Rukwa Region will have to part with 3,200/-, the highest price, if the pricing structure will be adhered to.
The minister said there was a shortage of sugar because local producers missed their 2019/2020 targets due to too much rains, can disease and unforeseen defective machineries in factories.
The demand for table sugar stands at 470,000 tonnes annually, which comes to 38,000 tonnes per month, while another 14,000 tonnes is required as emergency stock, he stated.
“Local producers have the capacity to deliver only 378,000 tonnes which is 82.9 per cent of the actual 456,000 tonnes when the emergency 14,000 tonnes are excluded,” he elaborated.
The Minister said the country now has sugar gap of 78,000 tonnes that had to be plugged through imports.
“A total of 20,710 tonnes of sugar has already been imported and was being distributed in various regions. We expect to receive another 15,500 tonnes today and more until early next month,” minister Bashungwa specified.
Indicative prices per kilo in other regions were set out as Iringa (2,900/-), Mbeya (3,000/-), Rukwa (3,200/-), Katavi (3,200/-), Ruvuma (3,200/-), Njombe (2,900/-).
Other indicative prices are Lindi (2,800/-), Mtwara (2,800/), Arusha (2,700/-), Kilimanjaro (2,700/-), Manyara (2,700/-), Tanga (2,700/-), Dar es Salaam (2,600/-), Coast (2,700/-) Morogoro (2,700/-), Kagera (3,000/-), Mwanza (2,900/-) and Simiyu (2,900/-).
Residents of Shinyanga region will pay 2,900/- per kilo, Geita (2,900/-), Mara (3,000/-), Kigoma (3,200/-), Singida (2,900/-), Tabora (2,900/-), Dodoma (2,900/-) and Songwe (3,000/-).
Speaking in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed regional commissioners and district commissioners to deal with unscrupulous traders who hike prices of sugar, which rose from an average of 2,500/- per kilogramme to around 4,500/- in most parts of the country.