Sugar industry operating at full capacity – Association
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Sugar Association (ZSA), an umbrella body for the commodity’s producers, said on Thursday the industry was operating at full capacity, and able to meet local demand.
In fact, it said, it expected to marginally increase sugar production
to 455 000 tonnes this season, up from 441 000 tonnes the previous
The industry said this to assure the nation of adequate supplies of
sugar, which has been in short supply in recent weeks.
The shortages in formal retail outlets started shortly after Covid-19
hit the country, but the commodity was widely available on informal
markets at high prices.
On these markets, a 2 kilogramme pocket of sugar sold at between US$2
and US$3, way above the official price of ZW$70.
The official price has since doubled in the last two months.
“The Zimbabwe Sugar Association has received numerous enquiries on the
availability of sugar in the local market, and has also noted with
serious concern, that some retailers and wholesalers are trading sugar
at prices way beyond the recommended levels and in some cases with
consumers being made to pay in foreign currency, notwithstanding the
fact that the industry sells and delivers sugar in Zimbabwean
dollars,” ZSA chairman Muchadeyi Masunda said.
He said the supply chain was affected at the end of March as the
industry, which employs over 20 000 people, took measures to protect
the workers against Covid-19.
But Masunda said the association would, going forward, monitor the behaviour of wholesalers and retailers and will take punitive action against
those hoarding the commodity for speculative reasons.
Zimbabwe has two major sugar producing companies, Tongaat Hullet and