Consumers in the country have expressed worry over the scarcity of sugar, which some traders are taking advantage of and selling at K1 200 for a one-kilogramme packet.
However, major retailers such as Game stores, Shoprite and Chipiku are maintaining the price—ranging from K700 to K800.
An employee of Game Stores in Blantyre, who opted for anonymity, yesterday said there has been no sugar at the shop for the past week, but was hopeful that there will be some by Sunday.
James Kanyundo, one of the consumers, said: “It is disheartening to note that shops and groceries are hiking prices of sugar at a time when finances are not going on well. Something must be done on this issue before things get out of hand,” he said.
In a telephone interview on Sunday, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito described the practice of hiking the price of sugar as daylight robbery, stressing that they will investigate the issue to come up with a proper answer on the levels which traders are exploiting Malawians.
“People are taking advantage of this shortage, and are now stealing from the public. If assuming there is a shortage, why not allow some traders to import sugar,” he said.
But Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited public relations officer Ireen Phalula, in a statement on the matter, said her company is producing enough sugar to ensure that the product is available on the market.
She said with the new cane growing at both Nchalo and Dwangwa estates, and a planned purchase of over 420 000 tonnes of sugarcane from around 3 700 farmers, Illovo anticipates a satisfactory 2017/18 milling season with more than sufficient production of sugar to cater for both domestic and export demand.