Harare-Sugarcane farmers are earning $550 per ton of raw sugar this marketing season, up from $536 last year, an official has said. Commercial Sugarcane Producers Association of Zimbabwe (CSPAZ) chairperson Mr Tawanda Mafurutu told New Ziana that the price rise was due to increased consumption of locally produced sugar and growth in demand of the product on the export markets.Mr Mafurutu said the move by the Government to limit the importation of some locally available products was commendable.
“The move by Government to restrict the importation of some basic products, sugar included, is a move in the right direction. This allows the consumption of locally produced sugar, allowing more resources to be invested in the growing of sugarcane,” he said.
“As farmers we may want more but the meal dour price of $550 per tonne is good and can allow us to go back to the field although we urge the government to find ways to reduce the price of inputs so that we can break even,” he said.
He said farmers remained committed to producing adequate sugar for the local market.
“Our farmers are yielding about 90 tonnes against a target of 100 tonnes per hectare down from last year’s 95 tonnes as a result of the drought that affected the crop when the 2015/16 season started.
“We want to assure the nation that we have the capacity to produce adequate sugar even in the 2016/17 season we can still produce enough for the local market and surplus for the export market. Zimbabweans should not worry about any sugar shortage,” he said.
Before the land reform program in early 2000, sugarcane production was a preserve of Tongaat Hullet, a South African company.
Sugar is Zimbabwe’s second largest foreign currency earner in agriculture after tobacco. Some of the raw sugar produced in Zimbabwe is processed locally at Tongaat Hullet in Chiredzi and Gold Star Sugars in Harare with the other exported to the European Union.- New Ziana.