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Friday, July 12, 2024

Sugar industry expects an increase in output

Story by Gay Matambo

THE Zimbabwe sugar industry is optimistic it can increase its sugar output to 400 000 tonnes this year from 370 000 tonnes that were produced last year as the country continues with efforts to boost food security.

Speaking during a media tour of the Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe operations in the Lowveld over the weekend, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tendai Masawi revealed that sugar output fell to 370 000 tonnes last year owing to the constant mill breakdowns and shortages of foreign currency to procure spares for both the Triangle and Hippo Valley estates mills.

“We are given quotas as countries to export sugar at premium prices by Europe and America. We have what we call the EU quota and the American quota that we are given as a country.

“We are expected to meet those quotas and should we fail we lose those quotas. Traditionally we have always been supplying because we need the foreign currency to service our machines. We are expecting to produce close to 400 000 tonnes of sugar as an Industry this year,” he said.

Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe has also partnered government in winter wheat production with 200 hectares having been put under the strategic crop this winter.

“We are partnering government at the moment in doing more than 200 hectares of winter wheat. We have done in the past, 3 000 hectares of maize that were given to Masvingo district for onward distribution to the needy.”

The sugar industry is among the 10 value chains including dairy and cotton, which have been identified to spur the industrialisation agenda in line with the National Development Strategy One.

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