The Association of Sugar Producers of Mozambique (APAMO) called on Friday for the product’s renewed exemption from value added tax (VAT), to make it more accessible to families in face of increased demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the context of our response to Covid-19, measures making sugar more accessible to families would be useful,” APAMO President João Jeque told a press conference.
The sugar industry is among those worst affected by the crisis, and in some parts of the country scarcities and price increases, mainly of brown sugar, have been reported.
Jeque urged the government to overturn its December decision reintroducing VAT on sugar, a measure which ended a government initiative to revitalise the sugar industry.
“Before, there was VAT exemption, and sugar reached the consumer without VAT [in the final price]” Jeque said.
The state of emergency decreed by the Mozambican authorities, despite not imposing total confinement, has kept most families inside their homes, which has triggered an increase in consumption, the APAMO president said.
“People, when they are at home, consume more food, and we have to realise that not all basic foods are available, and the substitute consumption item that people use is sugar,” he explained.
Following the imposition of a state of emergency on April 1, Mozambique experienced some sugar shortages as a result of panic buying, but the situation was overcome by factories making more sugar available.
“We had a rush in April that was later reflected in a shortage, but that situation was overcome, because we have factories ready to immediately produce and place product on the market,” Jeque said.
May 11, 2020