Aaron Dasva, Jemitias Mapira, Nyashadzashe Ngaza


Sugarcane production requires equipment, significant amounts of agro-chemicals including fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides irrigation and heavy machinery that can lead to environmental degradation (Soil Science Society of America, 1997). The expansion of plantation sugarcane farming among A2 farmers in the Hippo Valley estates without proper institutional mechanisms presents a myriad of problems ecologically, socially and economically. Being a semi-arid area, any extensive extractive ventures would exacerbate competition for already scarce land and water resources. Most of the small scale and some of the commercial farmers are not adequately equipped with sustainable ways of sugarcane farming hence, threatening the country’s sugar industry’s competitiveness in relation to other world class producers and industries. Expansion of sugarcane plantations means that natural resources such as forests, grassland and shrubs, most of which double up as pastureland risk being encroached into. That none of these natural resources is under legal protection increases the risk of them being mismanaged contributing further to environmental degradation through soil erosion, loss of species, exhaustion of nutrients and interfering with other ecosystem services. Researches which have been conducted show that the principle of sustainable agriculture is broadly accepted but the systematic consideration in practical farm management is still very limited in most tropical sugarcane plantations. This study seeks to bring light on the sustainable ways of sugarcane production among A2 farmers in the Hippo Valley estates and to assess the knowledge of farmers on sustainable sugarcane farming and challenges faced by farmers in trying to implement sustainable sugarcane production. The study was conducted between January and May, 2018 and it shows the challenges confronting Hippo Valley Estates in its quest for sustainable development.


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