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SHs5000: Uganda sets maximum price for sugar

Kyambadde flanked by Jim Kabeho Mwine (in a blue tie) addresses a press conference at the ministry Friday afternoon. PHOTO BY GODFREY SSALI

Uganda sets sh5,000 as maximum price for sugar; trade licences of hoarders to be revoked

Government has intervened to control the escalating price of sugar in Uganda by setting a ceiling price of sh5,000.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde directed that sugar be sold at a fixed retail price of not more than sh5,000 per kilogram countrywide.

The last few weeks have seen the sugar price going for sh6,000 and sh7,000 per kilogram at various retails shops across the country.

Kyambadde said government has agreed with traders to reduce the retail prices of sugar that is locally milled to make it affordable for Ugandans.

“As a ministry, we have agreed with sugar millers, distributors and retailers to ensure that the retail price of sugar does not exceed sh5,000 per kilogram,” said Kyambadde, adding that “the millers shall provide the ministry with monthly stock levels and streamline the distribution of sugar to their registered  agents.’

Kyambadde said the directive whose enforcement takes immediate effect, will help to temporarily reduce the high price of sugar.

“With the price ceiling, the ministry is convinced that the sugar supply situation should stabilize by the end of this month and market speculation should not arise,” said Kyambadde.

Why the sugar shortage

Kyambadde explained that the rising costs of sugar were as a result of prolonged drought for a period of over 9 months which has led to the scarcity of sugarcane and  also led to the harvesting of immature sugar cane. A general food shortage has hit East Africa, with the sugar crisis in Kenya and Uganda and Nairobi having to import maize to meet demands.

The minister further blamed the high sugar price to increasing regional demand of Uganda sugar by Kenya and Rwanda, which now stands at 300,000 metric tonnes and 40,000 metric tonnnes respectively.

“Kenya and Rwanda have obtained duty remission import of 100,000 and 70,000 metric tones respectively. This should therefore address the regional shortage that has partly contributed to the sugar problem,” she said.

No hoarding

Kyambadde said the ministry will closely monitor the sugar market situation and promised to take action on traders hoarding sugar.

“The ministry, therefore, strongly condemns any continuous hoarding and speculation in the sugar market. If these malpractices persist, the ministry will be compelled to revoke trading licenses of the culprits.”

On behalf of Uganda Sugar Manufacturer’s Association, Jim Kabeho Mwine, the Director Madhvani Group, said that Kakira Sugar Works had suspended their periodic maintenance program to ensure normal sugar production.

“In this regard, Kakira sugar has 12th May 2017 resumed normal production postponing its regular maintenance. With improved rains, we expect normal supply of sugar cane from the out growers to normalize and this will result into increased sugar production,” said Kabeho.

 

5 comments

  1. Kolo richard moses

    I thank the government for coming up with the ceiling price of sugar because It has also considered the low income earners too and we hopefully hope for the best from the government as we wait to hear the reading of the national budget in few days to come

    • Disappointing to see in 2017 people support this sort of thing. Price fixing had never worked in history. All it does is create opportunities for unscrupulous people to engage in arbitrage. The underlying structural issues have to be addressed. The government is failing in that regard and you should hold them to account.

  2. Isingoma Richard

    that is at least ok.let the ministry provide a hotline for anyone who refuses to comply with the directive.

  3. i thank the government for the regulations of sugar prices which will enable the low income earners to afford the cost of living

  4. Gov’t thank you so much. It will help people who can’t afford it@ a high price. I used to buy 3-4kgs every time I needed sugar. I now buy 1/2kg

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