Zimbabwe to impose duty on sugar imports
from REGERAI PEPUKAI in Masvingo, Zimbabwe
MASVINGO – ZIMBABWE will from January next year impose duty on all imported sugar to protect the local sugar industry negatively affected by a slump in sales.
Imported sugar will attract a 10 percent import duty.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Mike Bimha, also confirmed the development.
He said this followed concerns by the sugar industry.
“We are moving as government to make sure that we protect our industries through legislation that promotes fair competition,” said Bimha.
Tongaat Huletts Managing Director, Sydney Mutsambiwa, welcomed the moves.
“We have been advised that the import duty on sugar will be effective in January next year and this is a welcome development to us.
“Like any other industry we applaud government for its stance in protecting local producers through legislative means,” said Mutsambiwa.
Meanwhile, his company is set to cede 6 000 hectares of land to government, which is poised to increase sugar production next year.
The country produced 488 000 tonnes of sugar last year with the figure expected to retain this year.
Mutsambiwa said the 6 000 hectares had already been cleared and Tongaat would soon surrender it to government, which will be responsible for its allocation.
It is reported the land would be allocated to the country’s traditional leaders.
Traditional leaders, most of them from the Shangani-speaking community in the Lowveld, had questioned the company’s alleged refusal to cede the land.
“We have finished the expansion of land on which farmers would grow sugar cane and the land is almost ready for use,” Mutsambiwa said.
Some of the traditional leaders that are set to benefit from the cleared land are chiefs Sengwe, Gudo, Tshovani, Masivamele, who are all in Chiredzi district in southern Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News
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