The Minister of Industry and Trade of Mozambique, Ernesto Tonela, announced that US multinational Coca-Cola is looking into the possibility of using Mozambican sugar to manufacture soft drinks.
The minister, cited by Mozambican news agency AIM, said Coca-Cola would send experts to identify requirements and assist in improving refining techniques to ensure that the sugar conforms to its standards.
The information was given at a meeting in Xhinavane about the challenges facing the sugar industry attended by Mozambican sugar sector representatives as well as Minister Ernesto Tonela.
AIM also said that “this partnership (with Coca-Cola) opens an excellent market to national sugar companies in the food agro-processing industry (drinks, cookies, ice cream and other products).”
According to the minister of total national sugar production in 2014 of just over 400,000 metric tons, only 10,000 tons were refined sugar.
The statistics on domestic consumption estimated that the domestic market absorbed 78 percent of total sugar production, whilst just 22 percent was channeled to the industrial sector.
Mozambique has four production units (Xhinavane, Maragra, Sena and Mafambisse) with private investment estimated at US$800 million, which began in 1992, when the 16-year armed conflict ended in Mozambique.
The sugar industry currently employs 35,000 workers (permanent and seasonal), but the number of people dependent on the sugar industry totals 150,000 workers making it the second-largest sector after the civil service. (macauhub/MO)