VICE-PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda
says government fully supports the Zambia Sugar
Company expansion programme, which aims to contribute to the
country’s growing economy.
Mr Banda said expanded productivity was a sure way of
adding to the Gross National Product (GDP) of the
The Vice-President was speaking in Mazabuka today when
he received a donation of K60 million, 200x 25
kilogramme bags of mealie-meal, 800 x 12.5 kilogramme
bags of mealie-meal and 20×50 kilogramme bags of sugar
from Zambia Sugar and the Islamic Society of Zambia meant for the flood victims.
Mr Banda said government considered increased economic
activity by the private sector as a reflection of the
government’s good economic policies.
He called on other companies in the country to emulate
the business growth programme of Zambia Sugar.
Mr Banda also commended all stakeholders that have
come on board to help government in addressing and
mitigating the effects of floods.
He said the K60 million donated by Zambia Sugar would
be used to procure relief supplies for distribution to
needy districts in the country.
Speaking earlier, Zambia Sugar Managing Director Paul
De Robillard said the company has staked K840 billion
for the expansion programme.
He said at the end of the expansion programme, Zambia
was poised to become the second largest grower of
sugar in Africa.
He said 1,100 locals had so far been employed on the
expansion project while 219 expatriates had also been
He said the expansion project is based on a 50 percent
increase in the cane crushing capacity of the factory
due to expanded sugar cane growing and the
construction of new canals of 32 kilometres in length
to deliver irrigation water to new areas of sugarcane
Mr De Robillard said the anticipated growth in
production would come from a combination of Zambia
Sugar’s own estate operations, commercial outgrowers
and small grower schemes totalling 10,500 hectares.
He said as a result of the expansion, sugar production
was expected to increase to 440,000 tons of sugar per
annum, an increase of approximately 200,000 tons
compared to the current level of production.
Mr De Robillard explained that the first phase of the
expansion programme was at an advanced stage.
He said the company has so far spent in excess of K730
billion to prepare 2,434 hectares for cane planting.
Mr De Robillard however complained that the sugar
company has not been spared by the ZESCO power outages
that the country was currently facing.
He also complained that the strength of the kwacha was
affecting the company’s exports.
He said the company was also alive to the many
problems that the people of Mazabuka were facing
following the floods that hit the country.
Mr De Robillard said it was because of this reason
that the company and the Islamic Society of
Zambia had put their hands together to help the
displaced families of Mazabuka.
He also complained that the harvesting of the sugar
cane was severely disrupted due to the heavy
Mr De Robillard said the unharvested sugar cane has
been carried over and would be harvested in the next
He said operational difficulties in the factory
continued to the end of the crushing season leading to
the decrease of the final sugar production from 255,
000 tons to 244,850 tons comapared to the seasonal
expectation of 255,000 tons and 244 850 produced last
And Mazabuka Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo said
the government should brace itself for continued
relief distribution to his area because even those who
have not been displaced have had their crops washed
away and would need relief food.
Mr Nkombo also warned the people living in lower areas
to vacate to higher grounds before they are affected
He also urged the Zambia Sugar to ensure that Zambians
benefit from the expansion programme at Zambia Sugar.
Mr Nkombo said Zambians must also be trained to
eventually take over from the expatriates who have
been engaged on Zambia Sugar’s expansion project.