Salima Sugar Company output is expected to jump by 185 percent to 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) this year from last year’s 35 000 MT, an official has said.
In an interview on Friday, the firm’s chairperson Shirieesh Betgiri attributed the anticipated increased output to good weather and increased hectarage for sugarcane.
“Everything is set and we are ready to start crushing sugarcanes. This year, we will operate the machines for three months and we will have enough sugar to satisfy the market,” he said.
Betgiri said they have engaged 750 smallholder farmers—300 in Salima and 450 in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota—to grow sugarcane and supply to the company.
He said farmers have also been linked to the Malawi Enterprise Develoment Fund (Medf) to access loans for their business.
The farmers have also been provided with inputs as well as seeds so that they grow quality sugarcane.
The sugar company, whose investment is worth $90 million (K66 billion), is a public private partnership (PPP) between Indian investors, owning 60 percent and Malawi Government which owns the remaining 40 percent stake.
It operates under the Green Belt Authority (GBA).
GBA spokesperson Maganizo Mazeze said they are excited with the project as it has helped to create jobs and making sugar available on the market at competitive prices.
He said: As Green Belt Authority, we are excited that Salima Sugar Company will be back on the market on a large-scale with more sugar and of better quality.
“This will create more competition for the best product on the market,” he said. n