Sugar cane growers under Kasinthula Cane Growers Limited (KCGL) in Chikwawa on Friday took management to task over the company’s poor performance.
The growers blamed management for losses and poor living standards of growers.
On the day, KCGL management had called for an extraordinary meeting to inform growers that due to the company’s poor performance, they would not receive their advances from April 1 2017 until the situation improves.
KCGL acting general manager Wilson Hunga said the decision was made because the company has been making losses.
He said: “Looking at our business currently, we are not making substantial profits and when we engage into discussions with Illovo Sugar [Malawi] Limited who have been assisting us financially for the past two months, we reached a conclusion that the shareholders, who are farmers, should not receive their advances from April 1 up until we are financially stable.”
However this decision did not go down well with the growers who in turn told management that they too should not receive their salaries.
“You as management have failed us and we can no longer trust you,” said one of the growers, Stailosi Bile.
Another grower, Meki Chilenje, spoke on the need for management to give growers most of the work instead of contractors.
“The contractor working in our fields at the moment has done more harm than good. We need him out of the fields. Allow us to do the work,” he said.
KCGL is one of the oldest smallholder sugar cane companies in the country with over 700 growers.
In the past, about 30 percent of KCGL sugar used to be sold to Fairtrade companies in Europea and United States.