Zambia Sugar starts 2017 crop season

24.04.2017

ZAMBIA Sugar Plc has kicked off the 2017 crop season with optimism of a good harvest in view of a favourable rainfall pattern.

Company managing director Rabecca Katowa said that the just-ended rainy season has been favourable for the crop and anticipates a guaranteed good cane harvest despite the challenges faced in the previous season.

Ms Katowa said during the commissioning of the 2017 crop season that the company anticipates a turn-around this year, as it has continued to run its operations successfully.

“This is a critical period for the business because the cane that has been growing steadily in the last season is now ready for harvesting and crushing,” she said.

She also said Zambia Sugar, which is a subsidiary of Illovo Group, is one success story of privatisation which has seen increase in support to smallholder farmers.

Ms Katowa, however, said the company experienced challenges with the crop last year due to power challenges and pests.

“Aphids attack sugar cane while the beetles burrow themselves in the cane, which dries the crop…The irrigation was affected by power outages as sugar cane needs 2,000 millilitres to grow,” she said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Social Services Joyce Simukoko said the investment that Zambia Sugar has made in expansion of the refinery underscores the confidence that investors have in Zambia’s conducive business environment and that it also demonstrates a long-term commitment to Zambia.

“As you expand, it is pleasing to note that other entities that you support such as smallholder farmers also expand their business by enlarging their capacity to supply sugar cane to the Nakambala mill,” she said.


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