4 December 2017

The Mozambican sugar fortification programme was recently launched at Tongaat Hulett’s Mafambisse sugar mill.

A partnership between the Government of Mozambique, World Food Program, the Mozambican Sugar industry, through APAMO, and Mill House, resulted in the successful roll-out of vitamin A fortification for all sugar sold in Mozambique.

In 2016 the Mozambican Government legislated vitamin A, E and D  micronutrients fortification of several basic foodstuffs including flour, oil and sugar, with the aim of improving the health of the general population. As one of the key daily products in the general population’s food basket, sugar generally has very low consumption per capita in Mozambique, in fact amongst the lowest in the world at 9 kg per year. Sugar was identified as the ideal vehicle for vitamin A fortification.

The fortification project was funded by the Government of Mozambique and the World Food Program. Mill house, a South African based company, was appointed by the Government to supply specialised equipment for the fortification project as well as Vitamin A premix, to all four sugar mills in Mozambique. The installation of this equipment, which was carried out as joint ventures between each mill and Mill House, was completed by end of September 2017.

The launch event was held on 30 November 2017, with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Enersto Max Tonela, as the guest of honour responsible for cutting the ribbon and unveiling the plaque. Thereafter the guests witnessed the official fortification plant start-up.

In his speech, Dr Enersto Max Tonela praised the sugar industry for their commitment and dedication in supporting the government to ensure the success of this important socio-economic development program, and actively participating in providing nutrition to the nation through Vitamin A fortification. He further commented that a healthy nation sustains not only the country but businesses as well.

He appreciated the efforts by the sugar industry in creating employment and mentioned that the government is very pleased with the current efforts by industry and looks forward to its support going into the future.

The launch event was also attended by Dr Eduarda M Zandamela of CONFAM, the leaders of the food committee within the ministry of Industry and Commerce, World Food Program Representatives, APAMO and DNA, representing the sugar industry, local Government representatives from Sofala Province, Dondo District, local leaders from Mafambisse and surrounding areas, Sugar Union representatives, employees and the Mafambisse community.

Speaking at the launch event Joao Jeque, executive director of the Association of Sugar Producers in Mozambique (APAMO), said that annual installed capacity had increased by about half a million metric tons from 50,000 hectares of cane fields.

“The workforce had also increased substantially, by about 41,000 workers*, meaning that, directly and indirectly, some 213,200 people benefit from the employment generated by this sector of the manufacturing industry.” He said

In the 1970s the Mozambique sugar industry, which consisted of six Sugar Mills, produced nearly 200 000 tons of sugar per annum. However, as a result of the war between 1977 and 1992, production level dropped to just 13 000 tons resulting in a sugar deficit position for the country.

Today the Mozambican sugar industry operates four sugar mills, namely Tongaat Hulett’s Xinavane and Mafambisse Mills, Illovo Sugar’s Maragra Mill and Sena’s Marromeu Mill, who between them have invested some US$800 million in recent years, focussed on rebuilding production capacity.

Annual sugar production levels having increased from 13 000 tons to 480 000 tons per year, of which roughly 50 percent is for local consumption, distributed to consumers through the national sugar distributor, DNA.

* Includes external beneficiaries from service providers, growers and related support entities linked to the industry’s activities along the supply chain, 30,000 of which are direct employees within the supply chain