Sugarcane is a strategic crop for KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, where sugarcane production is located, comprising a substantial percentage of field crop gross farming income across the two provinces.
The approximately 22 949 registered sugarcane growers who annually produce on average 20 million tons of sugarcane from 14 mill supply areas, extending from southern KwaZulu-Natal to the Mpumalanga Lowveld. Currently, growers are represented by the South African Cane Growers’ Association (SACGA) and the South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA).
There are approximately 21 581 small-scale growers, of whom 12 019 delivered cane in the *2018/2019 season, producing 9.33% of the total crop.
This includes 116 consolidated units, comprising co-operatives, trusts and projects, which are made up of 7 536 individual beneficiaries. There are approximately 1 368 large-scale growers – including 345 black emerging farmers – who produce 81,17% of total sugarcane. Milling companies with their own sugar estates produce 9.17 % of the crop.