Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says the improved sugar exports recorded by the country’s major sugar manufacturer Illovo Sugar Malawi is a boon for the country on domestic revenue.
Illovo earns Malawi valuable foreign exchange through the sales of its export sugar but is also a major source of domestic revenue to government.
Data shows over 70 percent of the sugar the manufacturer produced this year was sold on the local market, while the remainder is sold to regional African markets, European Union (EU) and the United States.
According to Illovo Malawi’s financial performance for the year ended August 2018, sugar exports for the company totalled K56.5 billion in the 12 month period ended August 31 2018 compared to the preceding five month period of August 2017 where the company’s posted K19.8 billion.
MRA head of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma said the improvement in sugar exports is positive for the country’s much needed revenue.
“There are so many benefits that accrue to exporting more sugar to other countries but what is critical for us is when the company exports more sugar they will have more income that they have earned and ultimately pay more revenue to MRA,” he said.
Kapoloma while admitting that Illovo is grappling with sugar smuggling said MRA will help to curb the vice by tightening the security check at the country’s borders.
He said the aim is to ensure that the malpractice is contained so as to continue putting Illovo to profitability.
Sugar is one of the country’s foreign exchange earners and Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited, which has a 97 percent market share, employs about 9 500 people and about 2 300 smallholder farmers supply the commodity to the company.
Illovo Sugar Malawi managing director Mark Bain bridge is on record, saying management of the company will continue to concentrate putting the company to profitability and positive cash flow generation. n