SOUTH AFRICA – Tongaat Hulett says raw sugar production in Zimbabwe could rise by 26 percent in the next two years on increased sugarcane production spurred by good rains received in the region.

The company, which owns Triangle and Hippo Valley in the Lowveld in Zimbabwe, said raw sugar production was set to rise from the 453,000 tonnes this year to an estimated 535,000 to 570 000 tonnes in the 2018/2019 season.

Projected output for 2017/2018 season was however set to be affected by last year’s drought and will be between 400,000 and 425,000 tonnes.

“Irrigation of the sugarcane crop was restricted during November and December 2016 and some land was left fallow,” the company said in a statement posted on its website at the weekend.

But because of the good rains, the company said replanting of cane has already commenced and this will contribute to the increased production in the 2018/19 season.

Tongaat Hulett said most of its water supply dams were now above 50 percent.

“The two water networks providing water to the Zimbabwe operations are the Tokwe-Mukorsi Mutirikwi network (80 percent) and the Manjirenji-Siya Manyuchi network (20 percent)

The Tokwe-Mukorsi dam with a capacity of 1,802,600 megalitres was completed in December 2016 and started impounding water immediately.

The dam is currently around 65 percent full – water is available to Tongaat Hulett for irrigation of cane.”

The company also added that Mutirikwi dam with a capacity of 1,740,205 megalitres was now 30 percent full while Manjirenji-Siya and Manyuchi dams were now 85 percent and 100 percent full respectively.

The company which also operates in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland said it was also expect recovery in the respective countries due to the improved rains–source

March 15, 2017;