Malawi: Minister intervenes to resolve sugarcane purchase issue

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Malawi: Following the tension between the Salima sugar company and the cane farmers and the company showing an inability to buy a cane, the Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe has intervened in the matter to find a long-lasting solution that would pacify both sides.

The company has shown an inability to buy 20,000 tonnes of sugarcane and the minister assured cane growers that the government is in talks with the sugar company to assist them.

The company has 60% shares in the sugarcane growing and processing business spread across 6000 hectares located along the shores of Lake Malawi. It is in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government of Malawi through the Green Belt Authority (GBA).

According to the media report, out of those hectares-4000 are the core land for growing of sugarcane by Salima Sugar Company and GBA, 1000 is meant for medium-scale farmers, 550 is for smallholder growers and 450 for other developments. And the Company and GBA, are currently using only 1000 out of their 4000 hectares.

The company had bought the land from sugarcane farmers from 2017 to 2019 that had raised the hopes of the sugarcane growers. However, this time around, the company says it would buy sugarcane from the smallholder farmers until April next year. The reason behind this says that it has enough sugarcane for processing.

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