By Mike Van Kamande MANA
Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyola Banda says Salima Sugar should sell some of its sugar locally as people cannot find the product on the local market.
Speaking on Friday in Salima when he toured the factory Chithyola Banda said he has asked the company to make sure local people enjoy it’s products because it is a Malawian owned company.
“It is rare to find Salima sugar in the local shops yet the government own 49 percent shareholding while AUM Sugar and Allied Limited has 51 percent. Most of its distributors are Indians which deprives locals of the opportunity to participate in the sugar distribution business and this should change immediately.
“The company has the potential to increase production for both local consumption and export and generate forex. We also have engaged management to look into the welfare of the workers especially occupational safety and health, protective gear, housing among others concerns,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the workers, irrigation supervisor Nicodemus Chinumba said abusive language, welfare of staff, unfair trading and treatment and unhygienic tendencies are some of the challenges they face at Salima Sugar.
Salima Sugar Company Secretary Charles Thupi said the company is working towards addressing some of the challenges workers are facing at the company.
“We have a draft conditions of service policy which we have developed in order to improve the welfare of our employees. We will address the concerns raised so that our workers are happy and work in a safe and conducive environment.
“We will soon flight adverts for local distributors and transporters to participate in the distribution of Salima sugar. On becoming a Mega farm we forwarded a proposal that we should be growing maize, soya and increase production of sugar,” Thupi said.