Salima Sugar Company to offer competitive prices for sugarcane despite Covid-19 bite

Salima Sugar Company Limited – one of the flagship public private partnership (PPP) projects under the Malawi Green Belt Authority (GBA) – has expressed commitment to offer small-scale sugarcane growers competitive prices despite the company grappling with delayed production due to Covid-19.

One of the company’s directors, Bruhat Betgiri, said apart from offering good prices on the market, they have also increased the volume from the smallholder farmers from 10, 000 metric tonnes to 30, 000 metric tonnes with another 15, 000 tonnes from other farmers.

Betgiri flanked by one of his officials

Betgiri made the sentiments in a phone interview on Wednesday. He said after some discussions with the out-growers associations, they agreed that they will not only increase the volume they buy from the farmers, but also the prices at which they buy the cane.

“We are buying sugarcane from them at K27, 000 per tonne, which is the best ever in the country,” he said, adding that in total, the company is expecting to buy over 170, 000 metric tonnes of sugarcane this season alone.

Salima Sugar Company Limited is a public limited company registered under Companies Act. The Malawi Government has 60 percent shares in the company while the remainder are the promoters – Aum Sugar Company Limited.

Salima Sugar Company Limited owns about 4, 000 hectares of land and currently, 1,000 hectares of land is under cultivation.

One of the portions of sugarcane farms at Salima Sugar Company Limited in Salima

The company is employing both formal and informal labourers, majority of whom come from the surrounding communities, thereby complementing government’s efforts of not only creating jobs, but also wealth since most of them are small-scale farmers.

Currently, Salima Sugar Company Limited employs more than 4, 000 skilled and unskilled workers on a weekly basis.

Betgiri said disclosed that apart from employment opportunities, the company is also exposing farmers to new agricultural technologies.

He further stated that the company is working with the Malawi Police Service in empowering communities in tightening security in Salima District.

“The company has rendered its support in the setting up of roadblocks in the district. Despite having its own clinic at the factory, which is open to the communities, Salima Sugar Company has also provided support to Salima District Hospital through donations of various medical supplies as well as refurbishments. On the long run, the company will construct primary and secondary schools, a hospital as well as staff houses f at the factory. These will be accessed for free by the communities,” he said.

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