Sugar industry optimistic over meeting demand Sugar


Tariro Stacey Gatsi

THE Zimbabwe Sugar Association (ZSA) is optimistic they can produce enough sugar to satiate national demand and quash the need to increase the commodity’s price, as the country’s efforts to boost food security continue.

In a recent press statement, ZSA advised all stakeholders and the general public that the recommended unit shelf price of table sugar remained unchanged at US$2, 60 for wholesale and US$2, 76 for retail of SunSweet sugar, with Gold Star white sugar retailing at US$2, 80 per two-kilogrammes pack.

“The cane milling season resumes mid-April, just a week away and this will further boost the existing stocks of sugar. The Zimbabwe sugar industry remains ready and able to meet the demand for sugar now and into the future,” read the press statement.

It further highlighted that the sugar industry currently had adequate sugar stocks for local consumption.

“The demand for sugar will spike as a result of the operating environment and speculative behaviour by some market players. Despite these factors, the stocks on hand are adequate to meet normal local demand,” added the press statement.

As sugar cane is a 12-month crop grown under irrigation in Zimbabwe, the sugar that is currently on sale was produced from the sugar cane crop harvested during the last milling season, which ended in December last year.

ZSA chairman Mr Willard Zireva said due to good rainfall received last agricultural season, the major dams that supply water for sugarcane irrigation in the Lowveld have sufficient water to last at least the next two seasons.

Although there was a modest expansion in hectarage from 79 722 in the 2022/23 season to 79 728 in the 2023/24 term, ZSA is still confident of producing enough to meet national requirements.

According to the Crops, Livestock, and Fisheries Assessment Report (Pre-harvest) CLAFA-1 for 2023/24, the number of hectares planted in 2022/23 remained consistent at 79 722 with no changes observed compared to the current hectarage count of 79 728 for 2023/24.

Zimbabwe has over the past few years been producing an average of 400 000 tonnes of sugar a year against an annual consumption of 300 000 tonnes to leave a surplus of 100 000 tonnes that is exported.

Hippo Valley and Triangle have an installed milling capacity of 630 000 tonnes annually meaning the country could ramp up sugar cane output for the mills to operate at their optimum.



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