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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Sugarcane out-growers boost sugarcane production

Sugarcane out-growers boost sugarcane production

Story by Gay Matambo

Sugarcane outgrowers have been commended for the efforts they are making to improve the sugarcane farming sector.

This came out at the Tongaat Huletts Zimbabwe Outgrower Farmer awards ceremony held this Friday in Triangle.

Winners who spoke to the ZBC News at the awards ceremony urged other sugarcane farmers to undergo training in a move meant to enhance their capacity to maximise production.

“Well, I must say sugarcane is a very sensitive crop and it needs farmers to pay attention to detail and to be hands-on,” said one of the farmers.

Another added, “To be a successful sugarcane farmer, you need knowledge and skills because sugarcane farming is commercial farming. I urge farmers to train for free at ZSAES in order to get good yields.”

“I have been successful in sugarcane farming because I’m always at my farm monitoring my crop thoroughly. I apply fertiliser on time, herbicides as well. That is the advice I can share with other farmers,” said another farmer.

Tongaat Huletts Zimbabwe Corporate and Industry Affairs Executive, Dr Dahlia Garwe said the Outgrower Farmer Awards are part of initiatives designed to improve the viability of sugarcane production while improving farmer profits.

“We not only looking at boosting sugar production in the Zimbabwean borders we are looking at Africa-wide growth. We want to become the biggest producer of sugarcane in Africa and we cannot do that unless the farmers are properly empowered. The idea is to incentivise them and get them excited about their trade, to get them really thinking about how best they can improve production,” said Dr. Garwe.

In 2023, sugarcane outgrowers who occupy 22 000 hectares of sugarcane plantations in Hippo Valley, Mkwasine and Triangle produced 1.3 million tonnes of cane.

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