Raw sugar production price up

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MASIMBA GONO

The raw sugar producer price for the 2018 marketing season has increased by nine percent compared to 2017 owing to firming prices of the commodity on the international market.

Statistics released by Hippo Valley Productive Sugarcane Farmers Association (HVPSFA) show that the projected mill dour price for 2018 is pegged at $626per ton up from last year’s $574 per same unit.

HVPSFA Secretary for Marketing Information and Publicity, Willington Chinoda said farmers would realise increased earnings in the wake of soaring production costs.

He said harvesting of sugar cane was going smoothly in the lowveld.

“The price of sugar is largely determined on the international market basing largely on how the market responds in terms of demand and supply,” Chinoda said.

“So far we have not witnessed any major challenges in the harvesting process, harvesting is progressing on well. We can assure the country that there is enough sugar in Zimbabwe.”

Commenting on the same issue Commercial Sugarcane Producers Association of Zimbabwe (CSPAZ) Secretary General, Ralph Sakupwanya said sugarcane harvesting was expected to end in November or December.

“We have not encountered any big problem this harvesting season. Mill breakdowns were experienced here and there but for now the process is going on well,” Sakupwanya said.

“We can assure the nation, sugar is available.”

Prior to the land reform programme in early 2 000, sugarcane production was a monopoly of Tongaat Hullets, a South African company that still controls the milling and marketing of the crop locally a situation which needs the urgent attention of relevant authorities to protect the interests of new players in the sector once preserve of the whites.

Sugarcane is grown commercially in the south eastern parts of Zimbabwe which include Chisumbanje, Nyanyadzi and Chiredzi. Following the commissioning of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, plans are also in the pipe line to start new sugarcane plantations in Mwenezi, Chivi and other surrounding areas.