The Kilombero Sugar Company Limited Managing Director Guy Williams said his company through its expansion project will help increase the number of sugar cane growers in the Kilombero valley from the current 9,000 to 12,000 growers in additions to creating up to 2,000 jobs in the value chain.
He made the remark during the Kilombero Sugarcane Farmers’ Day Exhibition held on 26 October 2022 in Ruaha village, Kilosa District in Morogoro under the theme ‘Best Cane Farming Practices for Sugar Sufficiency in Tanzania’ that brought together sugar stakeholders including the Tanzania Sugar Board (SBT), TARI Kibaha, National Sugar Institute (NSI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
“With the upcoming expansion project, the company is committed to working with the Sugar Board and TARI- Kibaha to improve seed cane quality, road infrastructure, transport and haulage systems as well as work with financial Institutions to help sugar cane growers access capital.” Williams said.
In her speech, the Morogoro Regional Commissioner, Fatma Mwasa who represented the Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Hussein Bashe called upon sugarcane farmers to ensure they are registered to take advantage of the fertilizer subsidy.
“The Government has given a fertilizer subsidy; the challenge is that not all farmers are registered. I instruct the Registrar to ensure that by November 30, all 9,500 sugarcane farmersin the Kilombero valley are registered so that they can utilize the fertilizer subsidy,” she said.
She emphasized continued cooperation in resolving existing challenges and improving productivity, including the use of quality seeds, access to capital for farmers, and improving infrastructure to smoothen transportation.
Speaking at the exhibition, The Director General of the Sugar Board of Tanzania, Prof.Kenneth Bengesi said that the exhibition is an opportunity for the stakeholders in the Sugar sub-sector to exchange knowledge and learn various sugarcane farming technologies as an effort to promote the efficiency of the industry in enabling the country to reach its vision of self-sufficiency in sugar.
“We want to ensure that our existing factories increase the capacity to produce sugar by making improvements through various strategies such as the expansion of existing factories, the implementation of irrigation agriculture as well as the construction of new factories,” Prof. Bengesi said.
He continued by explaining that in achieving the goals, the Board and stakeholders have set strategies to help sugarcane farmers to increase productivity where the government encourages the use of quality seeds utilization of the fertilizer subsidy announced by the Government.
The exhibition that was also attended by telecommunication and financial sector stakeholders among others with the Morogoro Regional Commissioner Fatma Mwasa presenting prizes and certificates to the farmers who demonstrated outstanding performance in sugarcane cultivation.