Starafrica targets export market

Starafrica targets export market
Published: 19 July 2018
SUGAR processor Starafricacorporation (Starafrica) has upgraded its machinery in a development that has positioned the company to target the regional export market, which it once dominated at the peak of the country's economic performance.

Group chief executive officer Regis Mutyiri told The Financial Gazette that the ongoing upgrades have created an opportunity for market growth.

"We upgraded 60 percent of the sugar processing plant and we now have capacity to produce 450 tonnes of sugar per day, which can easily be increased to 600 tonnes should the need arise. As a result, we are working on reviving our traditional export markets that we had stopped supplying during the plant upgrade. With the upgrade now complete, improving both quality and quantity will enable us to scout for exports in the region. The targeted products for export include sugar, syrups, icing sugar and honey," he said.

Mutyiri pointed out that the company's products will be distributed in countries within the Southern Africa Development Community region.

Starafrica's revival was due to a host of strategies that included the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (ZAMCO) snapping up a 58,34 percent shareholding in the troubled sugar processor.

The takeover was pursuant of a debt equity conversion after shareholders approved a scheme of arrangement whereby $32 million debt owed to various financiers was inherited by ZAMCO.

Meanwhile, a recent United States Development Agency's Foreign Agricultural Policy report observes that sugar cane production in Zimbabwe will increase by nine percent to 3,5 million tonnes in the 2018/19 season, based on a return to normal weather after the previous year's drought and improved sugar cane yields from more available irrigation water.

This increase is expected to be offset by lower sugar cane yields from some poorly performing new smallholder sugar farms and beneficiaries of the land reform program.

Post forecasts cited in the study observes that raw sugar production in Zimbabwe will increase by 17 percent to 460 000 tonnes in the same period, based on an increase in the quantity of sugar cane delivered to the mills and better quality sugar cane for crushing, resulting in good factory recoveries.

At the same time sugar exports will increase by 21 percent to 145 000 tonnes in the same period based on an increase in sugar production and the large available stocks. Post forecasts that sugar imports will decrease by 12 percent to 38 000 tonnes.

- Fingaz
Tags: Starafrica,


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