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Sugar Manufacturers Still Waiting to Hear From Tanzania on Export

Jim Kabeho, the chairman of the Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA) said they had not shipped any sugar to Tanzania at the moment despite reports that deal had been reached with Uganda government for them to export.
Sugar bagging line at Kakira. Manufacturers of sugar badly need new export market

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Sugar manufacturers in Uganda are still waiting to hear from Tanzania as to when they will finally export the sugar from Uganda.

Jim Kabeho, the chairman of the Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA) said they had not shipped any sugar to Tanzania at the moment despite reports that deal had been reached with Uganda government for them to export.  

He said the deal is specifically to fill the gap of Sugar that Tanzania needs at the moment and doesn’t mean they lifted the ban on Ugandan sugar.

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 Tanzania wants to import sugar equivalent to 60,000 tonnes. It wants to get at least 30,000 tonnes from Uganda and the remainder from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), where it is a member.

Seven days ago, Japheth Hasunga, the Tanzanian Minister of Agriculture, together with a delegation from Tanzania, was in the country to assess Uganda’s sugar production and its capacity. This would enable them to establish whether Uganda produces sugar it exports.

  Media reports showed that after the meeting at State House Entebbe, Tanzania agreed to deal on government-to-government level for the sugar to cross to Tanzania. This will be a short term move and will not amount to the permanent lifting of the blockade on Ugandan sugar.

Kabeho, who is also the general manager at Kakira Sugar, the biggest sugar producer in Uganda, said if Tanzania takes the 30,000 tonnes would be a relief to the producers.

  Tanzania rejected Uganda’s sugar early last year on suspicion that it imported from somewhere else, repackage in the country and then exported there.

Uganda’s sugar production has grown to 500,000 tonnes a year. The product, however, remains a thorny issue in the region with Kenya also previously having accused Uganda of repackaging imported sugar for re-export. 

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