- “This is the highest sugar output achieved over the past 10 years,” he said in a statement to The Citizen on Friday.
- He noted that the company crushed 1.165 million tonnes of sugarcanes during the same period. Besides its own estates, the company also buys sugarcanes from at least 8,000 cane growers from the surrounding Kilombero community.
Dar es Salaam. Sugar production in Kilombero, according to Kilombero Sugar Company Limited (KSC) affairs director Joseph Rugaimukamu, hit at 132,000 tonnes during the 2016/17 season.
“This is the highest sugar output achieved over the past 10 years,” he said in a statement to The Citizen on Friday.
He noted that the company crushed 1.165 million tonnes of sugarcanes during the same period. Besides its own estates, the company also buys sugarcanes from at least 8,000 cane growers from the surrounding Kilombero community.
“The highest record so far was produced during the 2005/06 season, when we crushed an all-time record of 136, 941 tonnes,” said Mr Rugaimukamu, noting that the past season’s record was achieved despite considerable challenges over the past three years, including drought.
The company was able to harvest almost all of its own, and the out growers’ canes in the 2016/17 season. The canes contained what Mr Rugaimukamu termed as higher than average sucrose levels.
Over the past 18 months, said Mr Rugaimukamu, local sugar sales improved significantly due the government’s effort to control illegal importation of sweeteners.
Equally, the cane price for growers has increased from Sh59,000/tonne in 2014/15 to Sh90,000/ tonne this season.
The government’s effort to protect local sugar producers, coupled with workers’ determination to achieve targets, were behind the high production level.
“The government’s recent announcement to protect and support the local sugar industry from imported sugar will further provide security for more investment and together with the continuing support of our wide grower base, we will contribute to self-sufficiency in sugar production in Tanzania,” said Mr Rugaimukamu.
In September last year, the government reached a consensus with its partners within the Southern African development Community (Sadc) in which Tanzania committed to imposing a 100-per cent duty on sugar imports from countries like Brazil and Europe.
Located on both sides of the Great Ruaha River in Kidatu Township, in Morogoro Region, the KCS cane production and sugar milling operations are conducted at Msolwa (K1) estate in Kilombero District and Ruembe (K2) Estate in the Kilosa District, with cane production from at least 10,000 hectares.