Africa Sugar Digest, Vol. II, No 10, 14 November 2011

Sudan: White Nile to reach 450,000 tonnes in 2012

Sudan’s minister of industry said the White Nile Sugar Factory project is to produce 250,000 tonnes of sugar this year, and will increase to 450,000 tonnes next season. A Kenana Sugar spokes-person said the White Nile Sugar Factory is using the most up-to-date technologies, with a wide range of products in addition to sugar, including ethanol, fodder, energy, milk and dairy products.

Kenya: Mumias to set up more Cane-Buying Centres

Seeking to cut transportation costs and secure cane for the factory, Mumias Sugar Company announced the setting up of two sugarcane buying centres in Kakamega Central and Bumula, and another at Kisoko in Nambale district. The project has an estimated cost of over 200 million shillings (USD 1.00=KES 95.64)

Farmers have complained about high transportation costs, which can take up to 30 percent the price they get for their cane. According to Mumias, farmers are charged between 875-1,200 shillings per tonne of cane delivered to the factory, depending on distance. Mumias is paying around 4,200 shillings per tonne of cane.

Mumias also said it will build a 12-million shillings bridge in the Siaya district to facilitate the transportation of cane. The bridge will be constructed along River Linao in East Ugenya to link Kathieno B and Kathieno C sub-locations. The company said this will benefit over 10,000 farmers, who produce some 420,000 tonnes of cane in 7,000 hectares.

Kenya: Bungoma to see a 5-billion shillings sugar mill – West Kenya Sugar Company said it will build a new sugar factory in Bungoma county at a cost of 5-billion shillings (USD 52.3 million). The company said the Kenya Sugar Board has already issued a license for the mill, and it is developing cane cultivation in Bungoma East district, to ensure enough raw material. The new factory is part of the company’s expansion plans in the Western sugar belt that, the company added, will see another mill being established in Busia county.

West Kenya first established a factory in Kabras  in 1981, with a daily crushing capacity of 500 tonnes. Since then, production capacity was expanded to 3,500 tonnes. The factory is currently operating at less than half its capacity due to the shortage of cane, even when the company reports having 56,000 acres under cane.  It is the country’s second largest sugar producer after Mumias Sugar.

Revival of Ramisi factory expected  – Over two decades after closing in 1988, the Ramisi Sugar Factory in Kwale, is expected to start operating in December 2012. The new factory is built by Kwale International Sugar Company at a cost of 24 billion Kenyan shillings (USD  253 million).

Kwale International Sugar Company (Kiscol) was allocated 15,000 acres to build the factory and develop a nucleus estate. Another 13,000 acres have been sub-divided into five-and-half-acre plots allocated to farmers, who, it is said, will put three acres under cane, two under subsistence agriculture and a half acre for housing. They will be registered out-growers with the company, and are expected to initially supply about 20 percent of the factory’s cane, and then increase their share to 50 percent. It was reported that close to 1,000 farmers have been registered already, and they will start production next year. Kwale recently sold a 20 percent stake to the Mauritian company Omnicane.

Tanzania: Dubai company to invest USD 500 million

Dubai’s City Energy & Infrastructure said it will invest USD 500 million in power generation, agriculture and mining projects in the Kigoma region in western Tanzania. According to a report by The East African, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government which includes three main projects: a thermal power plant, with a capacity to produce between 150-200 megawatts of electricity to feed the national grid; a sugar estate with a cane plantation and a factory of 20,000 tonnes of daily crushing capacity in some 100,000 hectares; and what would be East Africa’s first ever copper smelter with a capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year.

It is said that City Energy & Infrastructure involves two main partners: the SS Group of India and Dubai Pearl Group of United Arab Emirates (UAE), and also includes a state-owned public sector company M/S Singareni Collieries Company Ltd and M/S Fitchner India Ltd.

Zambia: Looking for Sugar Investors

The Zambian government said it is looking for groups willing to invest in a sugar project in the Luena farm bloc, a 100,000 hectares piece of land in Kawambwa in Luapula province. The core of the project will be a sugar cane nucleus estate and a factory, and the government said that there will be two farms of 5,000 hectares each, fourteen of 2,000 hectares, and several units under out-grower schemes.

Zambia Sugar: lower production but higher profits expected – Meanwhile Zambia Sugar said it expects production to be below last year’s 385,000 due to poorer cane yields and lower sucrose levels. The company, however, said improved factory performance will offset the shortfall in production, while high sugar prices combined with sugar shortages from April to September have benefitted exports. In fact, the company said operational profits have increased by 40 percent compared to the previous period.

Uganda: Kinyara eases limits on sugarcane farms

Kinyara Sugar Works Ltd said it will now allow out-growers to grow cane beyond the current 25-kilometre radius from the factory, as it seeks to increase production. The decision appears to benefit both the miller and the farmers, considering the high sugar prices in the country and the scarcity of cane. Kinyara has also started expanding its own acreage, and recently acquired and planted over 100 hectares of sugarcane in Masindi port in Kiryandongo district. Given the long distance between Masindi and the factory, the company said it will crush the cane and transport only the juice to the factory.

New sugar investment by Tirupati  expected – Tirupati Development Uganda said it plans to set up a 2,500-tonne sugar factory in Nakasongola, expected to start operations next year. The Observer said that Tirupati may contribute to diversify the sugar sector, which is now dominated by three processors, Kakira, Kinyara and SCOUL. Investing in sugar will be a new business area for Tirupati, which is better known as investing in urban projects like markets and commercial malls, and a proposed recreation park in Jinja.

Tirupati is only one of several groups showing interest in sugar. According to the local press, other groups include the Bugiri Sugar company, Anyanya sugar works in Kamuli, Sango Bay located in Rakai, Amuru Sugar Ltd, Allied Industries in Kaliro district, Mukwano sugar in Masindi, and Uganda Crop Industries, which it is reported will soon start producing sugar in small quantities.

Africa Sugar Digest is produced thanks to the IUF Global Sugar project in East and Southern Africa. It appears as news becomes available. Contributions are welcome. The IUF African sugar project is supported by the Social Justice Fund of the Canadian Auto Workers (SJF-CAW), with contribution from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the Labour International Development Program of the Canadian Labour Congress (LIDP-CLC).

Africa Sugar Digest, Vol. II, No 10, November 2011 – click to download –

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