The interventions come as a huge relief to small scale growers such as Walter Mandlazi, who despite producing as high as 160t per hectare on his 10ha farm at Figtree D in Komati, still can’t make profit due to the lack of economies of scale which increases production costs.
While some within the industry raises concerns about whether the industry will afford to pay the above transformation “bill”, Bruce Dunlop of Tongaat Hulett advises that
industry’s contribution towards afford to pay the above transformation “bill”, Bruce Dunlop of Tongaat Hulett advises that industry’s contribution towards transformation and will end up with the industry celebrating the return on investment in the long term. “While it is known that in the current situation it is the small scale growers who are the hardest hit, commitment to transformation should not be just about sharing the spoils.
It must be about sharing the pain as well”, says Bruce Dunlop. transformation must not be viewed as a cost, but an investment the return on which will be enormous in setting the industry on the right path in the country’s pursue of Sugar Industry’s Short Term Transformation Plan Submitted to Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on 11 May 2018.
Increase in premium cane payment for black small-scale sugarcane farmers – based on local market sugar pricing
Establishment of a premium cane Price for black sugarcane farmers (who do not qualify as small scale farmers)
Subsidisation of black small-scale sugarcane farmers’ cane transport costs
Access to seed cane of the appropriate varieties for black small-scale sugarcane farmers.
Subsidisation of black small-scale sugarcane farmers’ membership levies.
Institutional capacity building subsidy to fund start-up costs of new emerging black sugarcane farmer associations
Allocate additional funding for the training of black sugarcane farmers via the Grower Development Account (GDA)
Creation of Sugar Industry Job Creation Accelerator Programme for black youth and women.