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Sugar is a highly vied upon product typically used in a household’s customary diet. Starting from a teaspoon or two in our morning coffee or tea, we tend to require more during our lunchtime and afternoon indulgences of hot drinks. Sugar is also deemed to be a significant intrinsic product to the traditional and elaborate coffee ceremony which is an essential outlook of the country. In addition to its massive demands in households, sugar is also an essential product for many small and big businesses alike, such as pastry shops and cafes, restaurants and hotels ranging from minimum class to the most prestigious ones.
Nevertheless, what seems to be the problem is that the demand for this product and the supply are not proportionate in many aspects these days. Ethiopia is currently said to produce hundreds of tons of sugar a year from Finchaa, Metehera, and Wonchi. Although these are immense levels for a product, it hasn’t impended residents from the capital city from complaining about lack of sustainable supply and also its seemingly high cost.
In order to solve this predicament and also to minimize the widening gap between supply and demand, the government plans on opening seven new sugar-processing plants by the end of 2015. Laying out this plan will presumably ensure the raise in the country’s production capacity from hundreds of thousands to millions of tons a year. This plan, not only will meet the current sugar demand and curtail imports of sugar from other countries, it will also enhance the country’s capacity to export guaranteeing an earning in millions. The opening of one of these plants however, is said to have been delayed, as an official from Ethiopia’s Sugar Corporation explains that it is due to lack of stable performances of the Indian companies to which the construction of the factory was attributed to. The contract, even though it was signed in 2007, and was also enabled with a loan of hundreds of millions of dollars from an Indian Bank, wasn’t concluded in the expected time or in the years that followed it. The inauguration of the first phase of the processing plant was to finally take place in June, which puts major doubt of the rest of the plants ending in the proffered timing. The seven factories that are expected to be fully operating by the end of 2015 were Arjo Dedesa, Kesem, Tana Beles 1 and 2, Omo-Kuraz, Tendaho 1 and 2. Lack of capital to domestically finance these projects forces us to rely on foreign finance to conclude them. This creates a huge hindrance in the area due to having to wait for the finances to pull through.
A lack of preferences with regards to financial prospects is the most impedimental problem thus far. This is said to have had limited the government’s role in controlling such unwarranted delays, since the conclusion of these contracts are mainly governed by foreign loaning agencies.
While the need for these sugar processing plants to commence as soon as possible is most essential. The timing for which they are to be inaugurated are a little over-ambitious given the nature of the problem that may result in a delay. It’s advisable to create a more reliable and assessable way of financing to ensure the enablement of these plants in a more timely manner. Putting special emphasis on the importance of these plants to the line of our economy, instead of focusing on speed it’s better to focus on the qualitative nature of these factories.