Saturday, February 24, 2024

Food commission defends sugar fortification policy

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National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) says it will continue enforcing its policy of fortifying sugar with Vitamin A. Reacting to the Parliamentary Committee on Economic and Labour Affairs call to government to change the policy in order to enhance the competitiveness of the Zambia sugar industry, NFNC acting Executive Director Freddie Mubanga said fortification is meant to curb high levels of micro-nutrition deficiency in the country.

He said micro- nutrition deficiency was a complex situation which needed multiple approaches to be dealt with and that there was no need to trivialize the situation.

Mr. Mubanga explained that sugar fortification was a short-term measure to bring down the high levels of vitamin A deficiency common in children under the age of five and reproductive women.

He said other measures were promotion of exclusive breast feeding for the first six months and diet diversification and prevention of diseases that depleted vitamin A in the body.

Mr. Mubanga said the high price of sugar was not being caused by the cost of fortification as prices had been high even before the policy was implemented.

He added that measures to combat micro- nutrition deficiency also contributed to reduction in infant mortality rates and that there was need to invest more in nutrition as it had effects on the country’s economy.

ZANIS/MP/ENDS/MM

19 COMMENTS

  1. Records can prove that fortification has greatly reduced infancy malnutrion.Whats wrong with our lawmakers? Just concetrate on ways of reviving and turning around our economy than what you are proposing.

  2. Nangula teifyo ba Fuledi. What is the relationship between competitiveness and fortification? Kuli tyala ofuna kuyamba kuleta ma sugar from other countries. We know how ulterior motives begin. But do not give in easily at the expense of the so-many beneficiaries.

  3. Efinshi fi forti katwishi uko? Sharp Shooter, can you assist? Pantu fwe bambi, we can be thinking chimo chine na ‘Nullity’ ka.

  4. Ba Moze,
    Whats fortification, this sounds like a criticles issue, why not use simple words in order for the readers to understand

    fortifi fimo fimo is the process of ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I dont know.

  5. this fortification business is rubbish,the so called fortified zed sugar is very expensive fo the ordinary citizens in chazanga,zingalume,kaputa, chama, lusitu etc.secondly,it is just a way of making nakambala sugar company monopolise the business.the high malnutrition levels in zed is not due lack vitamin A, it’s due to luck of proteins, and carbohydrates (eg sugar),professionally termed kwashiokor and marasmus.given 2 choices btwn expensive fortified sugar and cheap unfort 1,i would opt for the cheap commodity fo the country,think twice about these policies.

  6. Please stop this your fortification.If people wants the vitamini A they know where to get it.Don’t decide for us.Just make suger full stop.

  7. This move is welcome and long overdue. I know some countries who have fortified Mealie-meal.

    This is my opinion….

  8. yu make so much noise about sugar fortification without even looking at percentage of the general population that can afford this sugar.go to malawi,zimbabwe,TZ etc where unfortified sugar is on the market,and then compare the malnutrition levels in these countries to those in zed.
    if you mean well about fortification,then start fortifying water or maize meal or salt, or anything that almost everyone has access to.go to these villages, yu will be shocked that a good number of pipo can’t afford salt,now what more yo 10pin 2kg zed sugar.

  9. Vitamin A is also known as retinol. Good sources of vitamin A include cheese, eggs, oily fish (such as mackerel), milk, fortified margarine and yoghurt.

    Liver is also a rich source of vitamin A. But, because it’s such a rich source, if you already eat it every week, you might want to choose not to have it more often.

    If you’re pregnant, you should avoid eating liver because of the amount of vitamin A it contain

  10. #9, Ba Honey,
    this fortification issue is good innovation as people never take into account what daily nutrients are needed for the body,. They just eat food to fill their stomachs. pronto! end of story.

    Good research done in here.

  11. The fortification of sugar should/could probably be seen as a good start in the right direction; and should be commended.

    If there is need to review the fortification policy, it should not lead to a decision to take fortification from sugar away, but to extend it to other commodities, such as maize meal as has been named above.

    This is a very high standard for other manufacturers and countries to attain, but that is what development is or is it not? The challenge is for other would be producers to rise to the challenge. In any case they will not have to re-invent the wheel. All they will have to do is invest that bit more, and they will be able to offer a good challenge to Zambia…

  12. LUSAKA TIMES,

    WOULD YOU KINDLY INSERT THE REMAINDER OF MY COMMENT ABOVE, TO MAKE A COMPLETE SENSE OF MY CONTRIBUTION?

    Thanks.

  13. Imwe bantu fortification of sugar doesnt make it xpensive. If they had 2 hav a vitamin a week how many of u wud take ur children or urself to the health centre? Ba mubanga has xplained. Gud 2 hav vitamine a fortified food. Soon shakers n largers wil be fortified.

  14. it doesn’t make zed sugar dear but makes nakambala a sole source of sugar in the name fortification,and makes them feel they can price it anyhow.they never denied the fact that the sugar they export to europe,east africa and congo is cheaper than what they offload on the local market.if it true then leave it open to business operatpors to sell both local sugar and the unfort. forein sugar or at least let them (zed sugar) make the commodity affordable.

  15. Kumunyama, the relationship betwn fortification and competitiveness is that the former is an added cost to the sugar production process. Fortification is important for the growth of children. There is an interesting documentary on this issue on Youtube and why the authorities selected sugar as the best avenue.

  16. I try to avoid commenting without making a suggestion.

    The conflict between the profit motive (wrapped up here in the term competitiveness) and public health needs to be solved by striking balance where the cost to the sugar producer is eased. The government has to thus compensate the producer for this additional cost either through a direct transfer or subsidy or through tax relief. The latter is easier.

  17. The Washingtonian , Thanks. I am still sceptical about those calling for no fortificatio at all. In fact I see it as an indirect way to protect Zambia Sugar against cheap unfortified sugar from our neighbouring countries. So we just have to maintain the status quo.

  18. there many sources of vitamin A,AS SOMEONE ALREADY OUTLINED ABOVE.fortification of sugar shud not be an excuse fo selling the commodity expensive locally and export it cheaply….why don’t yu get it.salt is fortified with iodine yet is one of the cheapest commodities.we protect these companies too much…hence the monopoly.vit A is just one of the many trace elements,so why so much noise about it.yes we need certain foods to be fortified but NOT to the extent of exploitation….if vit A is the reason fo zed sugar being more dear,then do away with it.luck of cheap source of energy like refined sugar is more deadly than not having it at all bcose it’s expensive-fortified.

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