Sugar Scarcity lingers on – Capital Radio Malawi
29 May, 2024

Empty stock: A shelf that used to be filled up with sugar packets

Malawians are still grappling with the scarcity of sugar despite the government’s intervention.

A recent observation by Capital FM reveals that most retail shops do not have the product.

This has forced consumers to queue for hours with the hope of purchasing the commodity.

Last month, the government issued licenses to 20 traders to import sugar from countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Brazil in an attempt to alleviate the crisis that began last year.

Consumer rights activist John Kapito has reiterated calls for authorities to address the matter with urgency.

“It is a very difficult situation. We expected the authorities to come out and explain something that people would understand and appreciate. We are just waiting that time when Illovo will recommence production, but right now I would say it has been a very dirty trading issue. We are just hoping that we will never have a repeat of the same once the matters are normalised,” Kapito said.

However, spokesperson for the ministry of trade Patrick Botha has made an assurance that the situation will soon improve following the official opening of the 2024 Salima Sugar Production Season.

“Strategies have been put in place following high level engagements we have had with stakeholders. We therefore expect that the situation should change significantly because Salima Sugar Company has so far resumed production.

“Illovo have also made an assurance that come next week, they are also going into full production because they had delayed a little bit due to the flooding in Nkhotakota, Dwangwa and Chikwawa,” said Botha.

Consumers are currently being forced to pocket out between K3,500 and K4,000 for a kilogramme packet of sugar from the initial price of K1,800 to K2,000.

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