Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Sugar output set to drop

Sugar output set to drop

Production of sugar cane in Zimbabwe is projected to drop by three percent to 3,8 million tones this year due to a 12 percent decline in the area harvested, though the yield per hectare is expected to increase.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation said the scenario would result in sugar output decreasing only marginally to 480 000 tonnes from the 488 000 tonnes produced last year.

“The drop in area harvested is mainly due to the fact that the sugar mills will not be receiving any cane for producing sugar from the Green Fuel ethanol project,” FAO said.

“Over the past two years Green Fuel has supplied cane to the mills as it had temporarily stopped producing ethanol due to storage limitations,” the FAO said.
In August 2013, Government announced a 10 percent mandatory blending of petrol, a move likely to see all sugar cane from the Green Fuel project being used to produce ethanol.

Cane yield per hectare, however, is expected to increase as good summer rains from December 2013 to March 2014 improved the availability of irrigation water in supply dams.


“Two large estates, Triangle and Hippo Valley, have about 44 000 hectares of sugar cane land and produce in excess of three million tonnes of sugar cane or approximately 80 percent of the total cane crop and with good rains they can produce more,” FAO said.

In the 2013/14 season, Zimbabwe harvested 3,9 million tonnes of sugar cane on 46 605 hectares, marginally less than the four million tonnes on 53 486 hectares the previous season.

Experts say the marginal decrease in cane production was mainly due to the effects of the 2012 /13 drought.
The influx of cheap sugar onto the domestic market due to the significantly lower international prices has in the past impacted negatively on the price of locally produced sugar until Government banned imports of the commodity in January this year.

Only importation of white manufacturers’ grade sugar for the beverage industry is still permitted as Government seeks to aid the local industry back to its feet. — New Ziana


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