Manufactures want Tanzania to permanently lift sugar blockade 

EAC countries including Kenya and Tanzania have previously locked Uganda’s sugar out of their markets without proper explanation. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Whereas Tanzania had in 2020 agreed to provide Uganda a quota of 20,000 tonnes annually, exporters and manufacturers have been facing challenges, going for months without being allocated the agreed quotas. 

Tanzania has committed to fully lift a ban on sugar exports from Uganda instituted in 2019.

However, manufactures and dealers under Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association have indicated that whereas they had been permitted to resume export of the commodity to Tanzania in 2020, they have been facing a lot of barriers that have made trade in the commodity almost impossible. 

For instance, the association says, since the year started, dealers have not been allocated the required quota through which sugar is exported.  

The announcement in which Uganda will export 10,000 tonnes annually, also seems to have cut back on what Uganda had been previously allocated.  

Mr Jim Kabeho, the Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association chairman, said yesterday that they had been exporting 20,000 tonnes previously. 

“We have been exporting through quotas and every year we have been shipping 20,000 tonnes,” he said without going into details. 

However, Mr Kabeho noted that since the year begun, they have not exported sugar to Tanzania yet the two countries had agreed on an annual quota of 20,000 tonnes. 

However, during her state visit to Uganda, this week, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu, according to a joint communication, agreed that Uganda will be allowed to resume sugar exports to cover a deficit in the country. 

In 2019, Tanzania banned sugar from Uganda, alleging that it originated from third-party countries. 

Later in April 2020, President Museveni assented to the Sugar Act, 2020 as Uganda made its final deliberations in trading off its surplus sugar to Tanzania, with the first consignment of 20,000 tonnes shipped in May the same year.

“The sugar industry will be exporting 20,000 metric tonnes of brown sugar to Tanzania by the end of May 2020. This is the first consignment, which has opened up market opportunities for the Ugandan sugar millers who have a surplus,” Mr Museveni said in a statement then. 

During that time, Mr Museveni reportedly met with representatives from Tanzania led by the Managing Director of Kagera Sugar Limited, Seif Ally Seif.

However, dealers and manufacturers have since faced challenges accessing the Tanzania market. 

The new commitment comes as a relief to Ugandan sugar millers, who have in the last three years faced blockades in other markets including Kenyan and Rwanda.