ZAMBIA – Zambia Sugar Plc has exported about 159,000 tonnes of sugar to southern Africa despite the company experiencing various challenges this year.

The company has also sold over 170 tonnes of sugar to the domestic market this year.

Zambia Sugar head of corporate affairs and communication, Japhet Banda said the company has also recorded an excess production capacity of 424,000 tonnes, with a revenue base of about K1.9 billion.

Mr Banda said this during the 2016 Zambia Sugar customer open day recently that the company will continue to develop key market strategies to increase exports and domestic sales.

He said among the challenges Zambia Sugar is facing is the depreciation of the kwacha, which has resulted in increased cost of imports.

Electricity outages and low water levels in the Kafue River have also affected irrigation at sugar cane plantations.

The Mazabuka-based company’s current domestic sales of sugar are at 174,000 tonnes and the regional sales are at 159,000 this year.

Mr Banda said Zambia Sugar will focus on regional markets for new sucrose and related products that dilute high fixed cost.

He said export sales to the Democratic Republic of Congo have also been affected by various factors.

Zambia Sugar will adopt water management initiatives that will help increase cane production.

At the same event, Zambia Sugar managing director Rabecca Katowa said the company has developed good partnerships with customers, and this has boosted sales.

She said the company will double its refined sugar production as demand for the product is growing.

Mrs Katowa said Zambia Sugar experienced aphid infestation that affected sugar cane production.

“We had an epidemic of pest and diseases that affected our cane. We also experiencing power shortages that are affecting the cane supply area, but we can assure you that we are on top of things by ways of implementing strategies that will ensure the sustainability of our business,” she said.

November 25, 2015;