PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed security machineries to widen their collaboration with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to tighten loopholes for sugar and cooking oil imports in the country.
Mr Majaliwa issued the directive in the National Assembly Friday, when adjourning the 12th meeting of the House here, directing the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Ministry of Agriculture to strengthen supervision on sugar and cooking oil imports.
He was reacting to queries by a section of Members of Parliament (MPs) who expressed dismay over skyrocketing sugar and oil prices, while there was enough stock in the sugar production factories in the country.
Following the hiked prices of sugar, the government on Thursday issued a statement through the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment that there was enough sugar that can cater for all citizens for three consecutive months.
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Charles Mwijage, told the National Assembly that as of September 5, 2018, there was 118,130.22 tonnes of sugar.
“The assessment for six months from March to August, 2018, on the availability of sugar in the country indicates that the sweetener was available without any problem.
Last week, Mr Mwijage said he had formed a special task force to investigate the source of sugar imports that were flooding the market and paralysing production in local factories.
Apart from sugar and cooking oil, the PM said food production in the country was progressing well, adding that during the 2017/2018 season, food products stood at 16.9 tonnes out of which 9.5 tonnes were cereals.
“Because of enough food production and by considering food demand in the country, which stands at 13.6 tonnes, there is an excess of 3.3 tonnes, meaning, the country had enough food reserve that is equal to 124 percent,’’ he said.
Mr Majaliwa further advised Tanzanians to use the food reserve carefully, because there were neighbouring countries that had shortage of food. He directed all institutions dealing with awareness campaign on food to focus on how best the country can get rid of malnutrition and other related diseases.