In a bid to enhance efficiency of the sugar fortification process, Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc has installed a new vitamin A dosing unit at its Dwangwa factory in the central district of Nkhotakota.
According to the company, the new dosing unit has the capacity of dosing 30tons per hour and it has replaced a unit whose capacity was 20tons per hour. The new dosing machine will also ensure continued consistency in dosing the sugar with vitamin A.
Illovo Malawi Managing Director, Mark Bainbridge said the installation of the new dosing unit is part of the company’s wider vitamin A premix localization project, which will also involve the installation of a premix unit at the factory for the production of premix locally instead of importing it.
Annually, according to Bainbridge, Illovo spends around K1.1 billion for fortification of sugar for direct domestic consumption. Illovo started the fortification programme in 2012.
The company claimed that in 2017/18 alone, Illovo fortified over 110, 000 tons with vitamin A and reached estimated 2 million people.
“We fortify sugar with Vitamin A as one way of contributing to Government’s efforts of improving the health of the population. Over the past years Vitamin A deficiency was a public health concern but not anymore as findings of the 2015/16 Demographic and Health Survey indicates that Vitamin A deficiency prevalence in Malawi has declined to 4% .
“As Illovo Malawi we are pleased to be associated with the success in the reduction of the prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency and more importantly we are very happy that we are contributing towards improving the health a Malawian children and ensure that they have a good start in life as they will be able to fight off infections because vitamin A is known to support the functions of the immune system,” said Bainbridge.
Vitamin A also helps to prevent eye damage and reduces the severity of measles and diarrhea in children.
Bainbridge further said Illovo Malawi introduced on the market smaller packs of 220g and 500g to enable low income families to access vitamin A fortified sugar.
“In addition, earlier this year Illovo reduced the price of 500g packs of sugar and for two years has not adjusted the price of 220g, all in an effort to make the product accessible to the majority of Malawians. Illovo has also not adjusted the price of sugar in recent months,” explained Bainbridge.
Illovo Sugar (Malawi) is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and Illovo Sugar (PTY) ltd holds 76% of its issued share capital with the balance of the shares being held by public and other institutional investors.
The company is a wholly –owned subsidiary of associated British Foods (ABF), in the United Kingdom.
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