Government in consultation with other stakeholders in sugar industry is drafting a regulatory bill which will help bring sanity in the industry.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamvekha, disclosed this during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Illovo Sugar in Nchalo on Saturday.
Mwanamvekha said the bill will address, illegal importation of sugar into the country, remove barriers in the sugar making industry and help sugar manufacturers find more external markets, among others.
He also said the bill will bring sanity in the industry which is crucial for its development.
“The bill is currently with the Ministry of Justice. Soon it will go to the Cabinet before it goes to Parliament,” he said.
Mwanamvekha said sugar industry is key to national development interchanging with tea in the past 10 years as the second largest foreign exchange earner in the country.
He also said Illovo is the second single largest employer after government employing over 11,000 people not including external service providers such as transporters and cane cutters.
Illovo Sugar General Manager, Ken Tembo, welcomed the bill which, he said, will enhance smooth operations of the industry.
He said Illovo was consulted in the development of the bill and hopes it will help develop the industry.
“We have been consulted in the matter. They are working together with us in drafting the bill to make sure that sugarcane as a crop and smallholder farmers are protected. The bill will also enhance marketing of sugar,” he said.
As part of the celebration, there was a football match between Dwangwa United and Nchalo United in which Nchalo United won by 3 goals to 1.
Nchalo United went away with K500,000 while Dwangwa United received K250,000.