News on Sunday

Sugar Cane Harvest 2018 - Jacqueline Sauzier : “Sugar production will not be better than last year”


This year, the sugar cane harvest starts at the end of the month of May and the first mill to start crushing the cane and produce sugar will be  the Altéo plant in Union Flacq on June 1st, 2018. The other three plants will follow in July with Omnicane in the South sector on July 3rd, Terra located in the North on July 5th. The last plant to come into operation will be that of Médine located in the West on July 9, 2018.


Jacqueline Sauzier, secretary general of the Chamber of Agriculture, says that the expectations of the Chamber for this year’s harvest following the meeting of the members of the Crop Estimate Coordinating Committee is an estimation of 350,000t for 2018. This is the same figure as 2017 for which 355,213t sugar have been produced in final.

Asked by News on Sunday whether the Cane Industry is relegated down the rank among industries contributing to our GDP, she says that this is normal that due to the diversification of our economy in Mauritius, that the ranking of Cane Industry has gone down.

However, she says it is important to note that on a purely statistics point of view, the cane industry contributes to less than 2% of the GDP. However, there are economical activities that are linked to the cane industry such as sales of alcohol (rhum) or production of energy, that should these be added, the cane industry probably contributes to 20-25% of the GDP. 

Is the Chamber encouraging cane planters to come back to cane plantations? The MCA is in close collaboration with Planters Advisors in the four enlarged Factory Areas to identify all the possible difficulties unties of the planters and accompany them in their process of planting, cutting and loading their cane.

This is also done in close collaboration with the MCIA that has all the means to propose incentives to the planters for re-plantation. As regards the question of uncultivated lands, this is more a question for the MCIA has. They are to produce a database of abandoned cane land.

Can we expect that someday, the cane industry reaches the status it enjoyed decades ago? Not in the actual market configuration, she says. However, it is to be noted that there is an urgent need to review the income of the planters and reduce their costs. Should there be no change, with a business as usual scenario, the sugar cane industry will very soon be in a more difficult position.

According to the indications available to date, the sugar harvest is expected to end in the third week of December, after 28 weeks. The first mill scheduled to close the 2018 Cup will be that of Médine in mid-November.

The first estimate of the harvest was established at the end of the first meeting of the Crop Estimate Coordinating Committee held on Tuesday, May 15, and chaired by the Chamber of Agriculture. This committee is made up of representatives from the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority, the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute, the Sugar Insurance Fund Board, the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate, Statistics Mauritius and the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security.

Despite the hurricanes at the beginning of the year, Ava and Berguitta, followed by three months of rainfall with levels well above normal, the weather conditions that prevailed on the island from October 2017 to April 2018, which is the period of cane shoots, have on the whole not been harmful to the cane. Rainfall recorded was 306% above normal, with the heaviest rains in January in 38 years.

At the end of April 2018, the total height of the cane showed a minimal growth of 5% compared to normal, the southern sector being the most affected. With the approach of the beginning of the harvest, the first analysis announces a sugar richness-indicator of the accumulation of sucrose - slightly higher than that of 2017 by only 0.30, but lower than in 2016 by 1.60. With the onset of winter, it is expected cane growth will not change significantly, but sucrose build-up will increase.

The climatic conditions that will prevail during the beginning of the winter months will be decisive for this accumulation of sucrose. Based on the information gathered at this stage and taking into account current climatic conditions, sugar production for 2018 is estimated at around 350,000 tonnes based on cane production of around 3.6 million tonnes and an extraction rate of average of 9.9%. To conclude, the Crop Estimate Coordinating Committee is of the view that for comparison, in 2017, just over 3.7 million tonnes of sugar cane were harvested, yielding 355,213 tonnes of sugar with an average extraction rate of 9.57%. 


Notre service WhatsApp. Vous êtes témoins d`un événement d`actualité ou d`une scène insolite? Envoyez-nous vos photos ou vidéos sur le 5 259 82 00 !