Morogoro sugarcane farmers encouraged to boost productivity amid Kilombero Factory expansion

What you need to know:

  • Kilombero Sugar Company is expanding output to bolster sugar production and alleviate shortages in the country’s sugar supply

Morogoro. Sugarcane farmers in Morogoro have been urged to ramp up production to meet growing demand for their produce, precipitated by the ongoing expansion of the Kilombero sugar factory.

Assistant Registrar of Cooperative Societies in the Morogoro region, Kenneth Shemdoe, emphasised the need for Sugarcane farmers’ Agricultural and Marketing Co-operative Societies (Amcos) to adopt advanced techniques to enhance yields.

“The factory expansion should coincide with improvements in our farms. We need to move from harvesting 20 tonnes per hectare to harvesting 60 to 70 tonnes per hectare. With modern farming techniques, financial institutions can then step in. We’ve seen NMB Bank reduce interest rates to encourage domestic sugar production, reducing the need for imports,” said Shemdoe.

The current production rate stands at 20 tonnes per hectare, but Shemdoe insists that this figure must increase to 60 tonnes per hectare to meet the demands of the expanded factory.

The expansion project aims to bolster sugar production and alleviate shortages in the country’s sugar supply.

Shemdoe stressed the importance of modernising farming practices to achieve these targets.

He urged cooperative leaders to seize the opportunity presented by the factory expansion and embrace more efficient cultivation methods.

The impending expansion has garnered support from financial institutions like NMB Bank, which has pledged its commitment to the agricultural sector.

NMB Bank’s Central Zone Manager, Ms Janeth Shango, highlighted the bank’s significant contributions to agricultural development, including loans totaling Sh1.56 trillion to support farmers and agricultural activities.

Farmers have welcomed the bank’s lending initiatives, praising the flexibility of the repayment system, which allows them to repay loans after harvest, thus facilitating proper farm management.

Secretary of the Kilombero Sugarcane Farmers’ Associations, Mr James Mayunga, said the positive economic impact of credit systems on agricultural productivity.

He emphasised that the upcoming factory expansion will bring significant changes to the farming community and underscored the importance of continued investment from financial institutions like NMB Bank.

As Kilombero prepares for this expansion, stakeholders remain optimistic about the prospects for increased sugarcane production and its potential to bolster the region’s economy.