Tongaat-Hulett launches sugar farm project (Mozambique)

Tongaat-Hulett has launched a project to support small-scale sugar farmers in Mozambique.
The South African agro-processing company will coordinate the scheme, which will see 362 farmers in Xinavane, Maputo province, divided into five associations, growing sugar cane on 520 hectares (ha) of land, with 30ha set aside for cultivating food crops. The sugar cane grown will be sold to Tongaat-Hulett for processing at its Xinavane mill, providing a guaranteed market for the farmers.
The farmers will also receive extension services and training in farm management skills from the firm. It is hoped that the project, which is funded to around US$ 4,3m (R57,12m) by the European Union (EU) and the Botswana based ABC Bank, will enable the farmers to achieve yields of 100 tons per hectare, with the first harvests expected within 14 months.
Project director Sancho Cumbe said the scheme will be mutually beneficial as the supply of cane to Tongaat-Hulett’s Xinavane factory will increase and a viable small-scale agricultural sector will be created in the area, providing a substantial boost to rural employment.
Tongaat-Hulett is said to be the largest private sector employer in Mozambique, with its two mills and its plantations employing 17,000 people at peak production times.