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Sugarcane field with plants growing

Mozambique is betting on the production of 500 thousand tons of sugar

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Celso Correia, challenged stakeholders in the sugar sub-sector to design a matrix that would allow the country to produce, by 2030, 500 thousand tons of sugar, thus doubling its contribution to the agrarian sector.

The country currently produces around half of the installed capacity of 530,000 tons of sugar. That ruler spoke yesterday (24 January) at the Maragra sugar factory, Manhiça district, Maputo province, in a ceremony that brought together representatives of the sugar factories (conventional and organic), sugar producers’ associations and union leaders with the aim of making the balance of the 20/21 campaign and outline the prospects for the current harvest.

“It’s time to take a leap forward in the sugar sub-sector. We can launch this production plan for 500 thousand tons of sugar in Marromeu, in Sofala. It must be a national goal to reach the maximum potential installed in the country” – said minister Celso Correia, adding that Mozambique is now self-sufficient in the production of sugar and derivatives.

He indicated that the production of 500 thousand tons opens doors for those who want to invest in the sugarcane agricultural sector. ″We want the Mozambican private sector to be able to adhere to this agenda, which will create more jobs and more opportunities for small producers, perhaps, improving workers’ wages” – said the head of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He stressed that the executive has been in dialogue with the sugar sub-sector since the beginning of this new governance cycle to design appropriate solutions, taking into account its importance for agriculture and the national economy.

Last year, growth in the agriculture sector was eight percent. The latest data indicates that national sugar consumption varies between 190 and 200 thousand tons per year. By the end of the 2021 campaign, 270,896 tons of sugar were produced, corresponding to ninety-five percent of the planned target. 99,804 tons of molasses were also produced, corresponding to ninety-eight percent of the target.

The sugar sub-sector is one of the largest employers in rural areas. It employs 34,034 people and contributes greatly to social stability and family income. Of this number, around 12,395 are permanent jobs, 10,578 men and 1,817 women, and 21,639 seasonal.

In addition to the number of direct jobs from manufacturing companies, this sub-sector brings together a class of jobs resulting from the out grower production system that comprises 60 associations, totaling around 5108 jobs, 4893 of which are permanent and 215 seasonal and a universe of 1316 independent producers.

Between the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, the value of sugar exports varied from 91.77 and 89 million dollars, respectively.

The average value of exports from the agricultural sector from 2019 to 2021 amounted to 613351.01 million dollars and the contribution of the sugar sub-sector was 85807.32 million dollars, corresponding to 14%.

For Sérgio Zandamela, President of the Association of Sugar Producers of Mozambique (APAMO), climate change, reducing the tax burden and combating smuggling are the main challenges facing this sub-sector. Zandamela suggested establishing a legal framework for the sugar industry and building resilient infrastructure.

Sugar producers invested six billion meticais within the scope of social responsibility, money intended for the rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, health centers, spraying against malaria, support for employees living with HIV-AIDS, water supply, among other initiatives.


Sugar producers in Mozambique ask for VAT exemption

The Association of Sugar Producers of Mozambique (APAMO) is asking for an exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT) to make sugar more accessible to families given the increase in demand following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the context of our response to Covid-19, it would probably be useful to have measures that allow sugar to be more accessible to families”, said the president of APAMO, João Jeque.

“When people are at home, they consume more food. Families do not have all the basic foods available at home and the substitute consumption they turn to is sugar”, explained João Jeque.

The sugar industry is among those most affected by the crisis caused by the new coronavirus. In some parts of the country, cases of shortages and rising prices of the product, mainly brown sugar, were recorded.

With the State of emergency coming into force from April 1st until the 30th of this month, sugar, oil and soap producers complain about restrictive measures imposed by the presidential decree.


Sugar producers attentive to the crisis in Malawi

National sugar producers are interested in taking advantage of the opportunity created by the Malawi government, namely allowing the entry of the product from other countries such as Mozambique.

Liberalization comes at a time when the local sugar industry has seen its production reduced as a result of increased taxes in the production chain, an act associated with climate change.

To this end, the Malawi Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued twenty licenses to local companies to import sugar from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Brazil. It is in this context that the executive director of the Association of Sugar Producers of Mozambique (APAMO), Orlando da Conceição, assured “Notícias” that this is an opportunity that Mozambican companies can take advantage of.

“We are surplus producers, that is, we produce for the domestic market and have excess sugar for export. I think everything is a commercial issue that will depend on the price that Malawi offers. However, it is still an opportunity to be taken advantage of”, said the source.

Jornal Noticias