Sugarcane out growers in the Lowveld are eyeing to capitalise on the proposed amendment of the Sugar Production Control law to increase production.
The amendment is set to see a review of production, milling, marketing and sharing of revenue from proceeds from cane supplied by farmers.
Sugarcane out-growers have commended the government for the progress made in ensuring the amendment of the 1964 Sugar Production Control Act, saying it will resolve a long standing impasse they have had with sugar producing firms.
With the potential to produce the average 110 tonnes per hectare, out growers, who recently met with Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka in Chiredzi, are optimistic.
“Tinotenda nedanho rehurumende takatarisana neAct yedu yesugar uye tirikutarisira kuti process yacho ichatiwo kasirei. Zvakadaro isu sevarimi tinemukana wekurima zvakanyanya asi tinodawo kugadzirirwa nyaya dzemvura, dzemutero, dzemagetsi uye kuwaniswawo mainputs sevamwe,” (we thank the government for the propose amendment of the sugar production protocol and we hope the process will be expedited. As farmers we have a chance to increase production and look forward to have solutions on issues such as water, licences, electicity and provision of inputs).
Growth prospects in the sugar industry are massive and government hopes to see farmers capitalising on the opportunities.
“Growth in sugar industry will come from two areas that is the existing hectrage and area expansion. We must increase production as outgrowers. We need to look at a collective approach that we grow this yield. It is that productivity that will lead to greater profitability and better viability of business,” said Dr Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement.
The miller, Tongaat Hulett is expected to create an environment that ensures reduction of the cost of production for out growers.
“You as the miller Tongaat Hulett must reduce the burden of your supporters who are the out growers. Support them that they increase production and at the end of the day it will be a win-win situation,” said July Moyo Minister of Local Government and Public Works.
Out growers in the Lowveld are currently producing an average of 70 tonnes per hectare.
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