Zimbabwe aims to grow more sugar

The Zimbabwe Sugar Association said in a statement over the weekend that 65 percent of this year’s crop would be for domestic consumption while the remainder would be destined for the export market.

Last year, 68 percent of the crop was set aside for the domestic market while 32 percent went to the export market.

“In 2005, a total of 429 318 tonnes was produced by Hippo Valley Estates and Triangle Limited,” the Association said.

“Of this, 290 072 tonnes or equivalent to 68 percent of total production was sold on the local market.

“The remaining 139 246 tonnes or 32 percent of total production was sold to the export markets.”

Total sugar production for 2006, it said, was forecast at 491 000 tones of which 320 000 tonnes or 65 percent of total production has been allocated to the local market.

Meanwhile, the Association denied reports that it was involved in illegal exportation of sugar, which has generally been blamed for the shortage of the commodity on the local market.

“The sugar industry is not involved in any illegal exportation of sugar,” it said.

The comment by the Association comes in the wake of recent press reports on sugar supplies for both local and export markets, which it says contains some inaccuracies.

“There have been a number of press reports recently containing inaccuracies in respect of issues pertaining to the supply of sugar for the local and export market,” it said.

The Association said it was aware of the illegal export of sugar into neighbouring countries and that it regularly liaised with the Ministry of Industry and International Trade on ways to prevent such practices.

The ministry monitors and control all sugar exports and is also responsible for the issuing of export permits on the basis of a crop disposal schedule which clearly allocates a specific tonnage of sugar for the local and export markets.

The allocation of sugar to the various markets was also agreed between the sugar industry and the Ministry of Industry and International Trade at the beginning of each milling season in April every year, it said.

It added that that the sugar exports by the industry were also regularly audited and monitored by the central bank, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority in terms of the rules and regulations specified by the authorities. ‘ New Ziana.

June 2006
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