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The Viability of the Sugar Industry [S.C 15, 2006]
Fourth Report of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Land Reform, Agriculture, Resettlement and Water Development
First Session Sixth Parliament, Parliament of Zimbabwe
Presented to Parliament on June 06, 2006

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The Committee received evidence from four different types of sugarcane growers namely Estates, old commercial farmers, new commercial farmers and the Chipiwa and Mpapa Settler Farmers.

There was consensus among all stakeholders in the sugar industry that since 2001 there has been reduction in the production of sugar as a result of land reform and that there was need to raise the production to its normal level. They appealed to government to finalize the land reform programme and to fully support new farmers in the industry by allocating funds in the national budget for the sugarcane crop.

Farmers appealed to the government to speed up the processing of the 99 year lease agreements. This would enable them to borrow loans from financial institutions. There is concern over the issue of land sizes for planting sugarcane. Most holders of 20 hectares and below are considered not viable for sugarcane production. The A2 farmers expressed great dissatisfaction over the Cane Purchasing Agreements which they consider unfair. Farmers were not satisfied with the price charged by millers for their cane. They appealed to the government to intervene in the operations of the millers. They also recommended that government must break the monopoly of existing millers in the sugar industry by bringing more players. They also complained that transport costs have become very expensive to the extent that transporters are now in business than growers.

A2 farmers applauded Parliament for passing amendment no. 17 of the Constitution. They said it came as a blessing to them and an end to their problems.

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