RC urges sugarcane farmers to capitalise on fertiliser subsidy

MOROGORO Regional Commissioner, Fatma Mwasa has urged sugarcane farmers to ensure they are registered to take advantage of the fertiliser subsidy that will be an incentive in boosting production at low costs.

She made the call on behalf of the Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe during Kilombero Sugarcane Farmers’ Day Exhibition held recently in Ruaha village, Kilosa District in Morogoro Region which carries the theme “Best Cane Farming Practices for Sugar Sufficiency in Tanzania”.

“The government has provided fertiliser subsidy; the challenge remains to farmers get registered. I instruct the Registrar to ensure that by November 30, all 9,500 sugarcane farmers in the Kilombero valley are registered so that they can utilise the fertiliser subsidy,” she said.

The exhibition was organised by Kilombero Sugar Company Limited (KSCL) in collaboration with other stakeholders in the sugar industry including the Tanzania Sugar Board (SBT), Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI Kibaha), National Sugar Institute (NSI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).

She further emphasised that they will continue to cooperate in resolving the existing challenges and improving productivity, including the use of quality seeds, access to capital for farmers and improving infrastructure to smoothen transportation.

On his part, 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,” he said.

He added that in achieving the goals, the Board and stakeholders had set strategies to help sugarcane farmers to increase productivity where the government encourages the use of quality seeds utilisation of the fertiliser subsidy.

Speaking at the exhibition, the KSCL Managing Director, Mr Guy Williams said that the 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  in addition to creating up to 2,000 jobs in the value chain.

“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,” he said.

In the exhibition, RC Mwasa presented prizes and certificates to the farmers who demonstrated outstanding performance in sugarcane cultivation.

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