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Malawi sugar prices cheaper-Agriculture Committee

Sameer Suleiman (in Red Golf shirt) interacts with Lekani Katundula (in Green Golf shirt)

By Lovemore Khomo

Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has said sugar prices in Malawi is much cheaper than prices in its neighboring country of Zambia.

Chairperson for the committee, Sameer Suleman disclosed this to journalists on Saturday in Mchinji during the committee visit to Illovo sugar depots run by general dealers at Mchinji boarder.

Suleman explained that their findings indicates that Zambians buy a 20 kilogram bail of sugar from Malawi at K28, 000 and sell back cross the boarder at K38, 000 realizing K10, 000 profits.

“This is not what we thought and expected, as on prices we are better off than our Zambian neighbours. We found that Zambians do cross into Malawi to order and buy sugar which indicates that our sugar is cheap.” elaborated Suleman.

A cross section of members of Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture interacting with Illovo officials in Mchinji

He said prices are being determined by exchange rates and advised both the central government and Illovo to discuss their differences and map the way forward for the benefit of Malawians.

The Committee Chairperson expressed the need for Illovo to stabilize sugar retail prices to help the poorest.

Illovo Malawi Plc Managing Director, Lekani Katundula said they organised the trip to help the committee appreciate that Malawi’s sugar is cheap than neighbouring countries.

Katundula-Illovo Malawi organized the trip

Katundula explained that few days ago made presentation to a trade committee to demonstrate that dollar equivalence with neighouring currencies is higher, and making Sugar prices in those countries much higher than in Malawi.

In responding to a question on how Illovo has tried to resolve it’s differences on pricing with government, the Managing Director said they wrote government to respond on that issue.

“At this point, I cannot disclose more on what we discussed and contained in a letter.” Katundula told journalists.

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