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    Friday, 13 May 2016

    Sugar industry in crisis as cash shortages bites


    – Sugarcane farmers are facing a serious crisis with the current cash shortages as they are failing to pay for implements most of which requires foreign currency.
    Several farmers who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Mirror that there was definitely going to be a drop in production next season as all transactions involving foreign currency are at a standstill.
    "The sugarcane cutting season is starting this month on May 17 and we need to immediately apply fertilisers as we cut the current crop but we cannot do this because of cash shortages," said one of the farmers.
    The farmers said their business needed cash on a daily and chemicals which needed foreign currency were also critical. Workers cutting the cane needed to be paid as they go. The farmers also argued that said the introduction of bond notes is going to worsen things as most of the materials they use needs foreign currency hence they predict reduction in sugarcane output next season.
    "The sugarcane cutting season begins on 17 May 2016 as sugarcane farmers we have no joy due to the current shortage of money in banks. After supplying sugarcane to Tongaat Hullet our money is paid through banks and everything was done in United States Dollars. How do we continue if they give us the local currency? What it means is reduction in production. A sugarcane crop is continuous, we should immediately apply fertilizer after cutting and also pay workers` salaries but with the current cash shortages we cannot do that.
    "We need to pay cane cutters and transporters of the cane to the mills," said a farmer from Mkwasine.local news

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