Sugarcane provides over 50% of the world’s sugar requirements. It can grow in any country where it is not exposed to frost. The main product of sugarcane is sucrose, constituting 10% of the crop. Sucrose is a highly valued food and sweetener but also serves as a preservative for other foods.Sugarcane is chewed in all of the producing countries because of its sweet cell juice. Sugarcane juice is obtained by pressing the sugarcanes, and is mostly used to sweeten foodstuffs, but can also be consumed as fresh or fermented juice. The by-product of sugar production – molasses – is used in distilling alcohol and as an important cattle feed additive. Sugarcane can even be produced to provide motor fuel alcohol or ethanol as is the case in Brazil. Presently, the worldwide theme is on biofuels, and sugarcane is one of the major contenders. Cane tops can be used as livestock feed.


Varieties CO421; CO945; CO333East African varieties EAK 6930, EAK 6941
Seed Rate 5-7 ton/ha
Fertilizer Rate 40-50 bags of 50kg Phosphate per hectareP120kg N/Ha Topdressing done once every after 5 months after planting
Planting Spacing 1.2m furrows (cuttings laid in furrows)
Husbandry Sugarcane is vegetatively propagated with cuttings (containing 2-3 buds) of mature stalks. The cuttings are put down horizontally and covered with a thin layer of soil and allowed to germinate. After a certain height the cane is cut into setts and planted. The seedlings are planted in rows in pre-prepared furrows (furrow depth about 40 cm). Weed control is carried out manually at 3-4-week intervals with 3-4 weedings per season. Sugarcane can be intercropped with legumes to help in nitrogen fixation.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Moles  Young cane eaten Clear bushes/weedingTrapping and smoking of the moles
Smut Plant becomes narrow (whip like) black spores at the tip Plant disease free seed cane of resistant varieties.Rogue affected stools
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 14 – 22 months
Climatic Conditions Altitudes of 0-1700 m and pH of 5.0-7.0 are suitable. Rainfall of 1500-1700 mm annually. The soil should be deep, humus-rich, well aerated and drained.
Harvesting Some farmers burn fields to make harvesting easy. Others just harvest green without burning. Cut the cane as near to the ground as possible. Because sucrose decompose fast, they must be processed quickly within 72 hours.
Post Harvest and Storage Sugarcane is harvested and immediately transported to the factory for processing. There is not storage for farmers.
Growing Regions Nyanza sugar, Awendo/Trans Mara, Mumias/Nzoia/Busia
Expected yields 100-120 tons/ha


Processing Sugarcane is pressed to produce juice used to produce sugar and molasses as byproduct. The press cakes are used as animal feed.


Place Sugar in Kenya is usually consumed locally.
Price Sh4,000 to Sh4,500 per tonne


Products / By Products Sugar Packets and Cubes, Sucrose for Sweetening and preservatives, Mollasses for Brewing and Animal Feed
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values 10% of sugarcane is sucrose


Total area in Kenya under sugarcane production in 2005 was 144,765 hectares with a total production of sugar of 488,997 tons , and a national consumption of 695,622 tons.Sudan is one of the biggest sugarcane producers in world and number one in Africa.


Income Per Hectare: Kshs 400,000 (100 tons * 4000/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 100,000 (25% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 300,000 (75% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 25 tons per hectare.

Income Frequency: Once in 2 years.

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