Maputo, Mozambique, 30 April – The European Commission announced Monday that it is granting US$ 6 million to assist Mozambique’s sugar industry, officials said.
Glauco Calzuola, head of the EC’s Maputo bureau, said the funds would be applied from 2007 to 2010 and would begin to be disbursed before the end of this year.
Calzuola said Brussels’ funding was aimed to boost the competitiveness of Mozambique’s sugar sector in global markets and bring the sector into line with new EU regulations.
Calzuola was speaking at a ceremony in Maputo last week to mark the signing of an accord last year, under which the EC granted Mozambique US$ 742,000 to re-launch the country’s sugar sector.
“The funds will promote participation by Mozambican small and medium enterprises in the production of cane sugar to supply the sugar industry”, said Roberto Albino, director of Mozambique’s Center for Promotion of Commercial Agriculture (Cepagri).
The funds from Europe are also part of a technical and financial assistance package for 2006 to 2013 to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries that produce sugar in accord with new EU regulations that end preferential pricing previously practiced by these states.
But some less-developed states such as Mozambique, which are not subject to EU quota restrictions, can approve new regulations to boost their production.
The Mozambican government hopes that most of its forecast sugar output of 500,000 tons in 2009 will be exported to Europe.
The value of Mozambique’s sugar exports increased in 2006 by 71 percent to US$ 64.6 million in a year-on-year comparison, according to figures from Cepagri.
These revenues resulted from the overseas sale of 170,311 tons of brown sugar to the EU under the ACP/EU “Everything But Arms” initiative and the United States’ Complementary Quota for free markets. (macauhub)