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January 27, 2009

Tanzania to benefit from EU support for ACP sugar producers

Tanzania will this year access $8 million from the European Union as part of the support programme by the European Union for funding sugar producers.

The director of the Sugar Board of Tanzania, Mathew Kombe, said the money is the second tranche for the year 2007/8 after the first disbursement of $7.96 million on the same programme. He said the fund is part of the $233 million offered by the EU as an assistance package to 18 countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific bloc (ACP) for 2007-2017 to address the impact of new lower prices in the European market.

"Another $2.8 million is in the pipeline for the same purpose for year 2010, and we expect $5.6 million after 2010. However, due to budgetary rules in the EU, this had not been decided as yet," Mr Kombe said.

The EU strategy is important for countries such as Tanzania whose sugar sector employs over 66,000 people direct and indirectly, since it will act as a cushion mechanism when the EU adapts the new price regime. The new sugar price regime is a result of a political agreement reached by EU agriculture ministers late in 2006, restructuring the system of EU production quotas and reducing in price by 36 per cent over a period of four years.

The East African

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