• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Sugar makers shift focus to local cane farmers


As domestic sugar demand hits a record 2 million metric tons mark, sugar investors are increasingly paying closer attention to local sugarcane farmers, who are the critical part of the value chain. Sugar makers now equip the farmers with technical support and inputs that will enable them meet ever-growing demands and end import from Brazil.

Farmers are also an integral part of sugar makers’ current huge investments on research and development (R&D), it is gathered.

“Yes, I can speak for the farmers we are in partnership with in Adamawa,’’ said Graham Clark, group managing director, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR), in an interview with BusinessDay, saying “we assist them with technical input, in the procurement of fertiliser, in the maintenance of equipment and most importantly, guarantee them ready market.’’

Dangote Sugar Refinery has shown significant interest in developing sugarcane plantations in the Northern parts of the country, where cane farming is ongoing.

According to the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dangote is investing $2 billion, out of the $2.570 billion which will be made by all industry players combined.

Apart from Dangote, Flour Mills of Nigeria plc and Confluence Sugar, among few others, are doing the same.

Farmers are an integral part of backward integration policy (BIP) put in place by Nigeria’s Federal Government. Sugar makers’ focus on them is based on the conviction that by properly equipping them with modern equipment or training them on modern techniques, productivity and high-yield sugarcanes, which will in turn increase investors’ margins, will be produced.