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MBABANE – The Kingdom of Eswatini is mulling a subvention to sugar companies with a view to make the price of locally produced sugar to be more competitive in global markets.

This move, which could be implemented should resources allow, would be intended at lessening the effect of cheap imports from non- Southern African Customs Union (SACU) states which displace locally produced sugar, prompting stock to either be kept or sold at low value to world markets.

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Jabulani Mabuza disclosed that it was government’s intention to support sugar producing companies in whatever way possible in order to attract maximum value from ‘Swazi Gold’.

“It is within government’s plans to provide monetary support to the entire sugar industry if resources allow,” said Mabuza during the launch of quality awards last Thursday at the ministry’s boardroom.

Mabuza said they currently provide support to the sugar industry which includes, but not limited to, lobbying and securing markets both within the Southern African region and globally.

“It government’s wish to continue providing support to the sugar industry in order to reduce production costs which could make our sugar more competitive in global markets,” said Mabuza.          

Eswatini sugar sales to the European Union (EU) fell by 36 per cent.

This was both as a result of loss in value in that market as well as the abolition of the EU production quotas in October 2017, which led to the EU market becoming self-sufficient.

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