Kilombero. Kilombero Sugar Company (KSC) is conducting a comprehensive study before it rolls out its factory expansion project, the company said on Wednesday.
Managing director Guy Williams told a meeting that brought together key stakeholders of sugarcane production here on Wednesday that the detailed feasibility study will centre on research in the Kilombero valley with a view to finding out if there was a possibility of acquiring more cane from farmers.
Present at the meeting, which was held at the firm’s factory, was the Morogoro Regional Commissioner, Dr Steven Kebwe, Kilombero District Commissioner, Mr James Ihunyo as well as representatives from Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor (Sagcot), Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT), National Environment Management Council (Nemc), Kilosa District Council, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (Tari) and Kilombero cane growers’ association.
KSC, a subsidiary of Illovo Sugar Africa, is planning to build a new factory as it increases its acreage of farms by banking on outgrowers in an endeavour to raise sugar production from 130,000 tonnes to 265,000 tonnes per year.
The new factory is expected to process 2.5 million tonnes of sugar cane from the current 1.2 million tonnes.
It is expected that upon completion of the expansion project, the cane growers from the Kilombero valley will supply 60 per cent of the raw materials needed by the factory. Currently, the Kilombero sugar cane growers supply 40 per cent of raw materials to the factory.
Mr Williams called on the farmers to be patient and wait for the final results before planting seedlings.
Dr Kebwe commended KSC saying their intent to expand the factory was in line with the government’s industrialisation agenda.
“Considering that the government owns a 25 per cent stake in this company, it means the government will also be a part of this, and we will work with responsible institutions throughout this process,” said Dr Kebwe.
According to the KSC general manager for corporate affairs, Mr Joseph Rugaimukamu, the company was committed to supporting the growers in order to increase sugar cane production.