With Ghana being the fifth largest consumer of sugar after South Africa And Nigeria the agro-allied industry, of which sugarcane farming is a subset of is in focus.
There is particular interest in sugarcane production.
This is due to the low investment in this critical area which has the capacity of employing millions of Ghanaians.
With the above realities, this article focuses on how to start sugarcane farming in Ghana and its profitability.
How Well Has Sugarcane Farming and processing Fared ?
Sugarcane cultivation has been with us for a long time.
However, processing this crop to finished products hasbeen underutilized.
Today, Ghana produces less than 10percent of its sugar requirements.
But why the dismalperformance ? Because there are no concrete plan andguidelines on implementation.
Despite the presence of aSugar Development Council, there is no meaningfulprogress.
Nevertheless, all hope is not loss. This is because whenthere is a will, there will always be a way.
There aresugarcane farmers in the country. However, majority of
these farmers are small holder farmers.
These cultivateonly on small scale basis which means they are onlysubsistence farmers.
The Advantages of Cultivating Sugarcane
Sugarcane holds a lot of promise for the Ghanaian farmer.
This is mainly due to its fast rate of growth.
Typically,sugarcane can be harvested over 5 times before it is spent(after which new sugarcane plants can be replanted).
Thereare a lot of advantages accruable to sugarcane farmers.
Some of these include; its being a raw material for theproduction of sugar.
Sugarcane is also used for the production of biofuels.
Furthermore, there is a high demand for sugarcane bysugar industries.This is because it is a major raw materialfor the production of sugar.
Starting a Sugarcane Plantation in Ghana
The potential for the cultivation of sugarcane is enormous.
This is because there is enough arable land that supportsthe cultivation of this crop.
In addition, government hasimplemented favourable policies which, if well implementedwill result in considerable growth in the industry.
The profit potential for farmers is limitless because there isan increasing demand for this product.With the influx of anincreasing number of sugar industries, the demand forsugarcane is witnessing a steady increase.
Starting asugarcane plantation requires;
To perform creditably well in the cultivation and distributionof sugarcane, knowledge is a necessity.
By knowledge, wemean having the technical know how.
In explaining further,it is necessary to learn the skill of culivation.
Commercialsugarcane plantation requires a vast land.
Getting this landis an important step to realizing the objective.
Cultivating and Tending the Crop
After cultivating the sugarcane, it is necessary that itshould be well tended.
Taking good care of the crop helpsin realizing a bountiful harvest.
The location of theplantation also matters.
Sugarcane plantations thrive inareas where there is a good supply of water (rain).
Afterrealizing a good harvest, what next ? we go to the nextstage.
Supplying These Products to Sugar Factories
This is a crucial step in involved in the cultivation ofsugarcane.
Starting a sugarcane plantation in Ghanawithout a defined distribution channel can lead to graveconsequences.
This is where profitability comes into play.
As stated earlier, there are several sugar factories ready tomop up production.
Apart from the sugar manufacturingindustries, Ghanaians consume alot of sugarcane.
Also, Ghana has a huge deficit in sugar production.
Hence sugar manufacturing industries are unable to meetup with demand.
This has resorted to the importation ofboth granulated and cube sugar.
When supplyingsugarcane consider the competing demand by both directconsumers and the sugar industries.
Balancing supplybetween the two is a way of maintaining a steady stream ofprofits.
By ignoring one and focusing on the other, it mightlater come to affect profitability.
In any case, the incomepotential from sugarcane farming is very impressive.
In the light of this, a lot of policies have been formulated toencourage the cultivation of sugarcane to make Ghanabecome self sufficient.
As mentioned earlier, there is an ever increasing potentialfor profits.
The demand is high and will continue to grow asyour target market is varied and diverse.
This is the righttime to start a sugarcane plantation.
However, commercialcultivation of sugarcane should done. This is where themoney lies!