Nyandarua county set for sugar production

Nyandarua Governor Kiarie Badilisha and other visitors inside the Ranges sugar factory

 Nyandarua county is set to become a sugar producer with the establishment of a sugar factory in the county.

The Ranges sugar factory is a privately owned factory in Wanjohi, Kipipiri constituency and is set to produce sugar from the sugar beet crop.  A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and which is grown commercially for sugar production.  The plant consists of the root and a rosette of leaves. Sugar is formed by photosynthesis  in the leaves and is then stored in the root. Sugar beets are grown in climates that are too cold for sugarcane. In 2020, Russia, the United States, Germany, France and Turkey were the world’s five largest sugar beet producers.  In 2009, sugar beets accounted for 20% of the world’s sugar production and nearly 30% by 2013.

Nyandarua Governor Kiarie Badilisha holding a beet root crop when he visited the the Ranges sugar factory

A spokesperson for the factory, John Njuguna says they have already sold seeds to farmers to plant so that they can supply the factory with the raw material once it starts processing.

“We hope sugar beet will become the cash crop of Nyandarua since it has more potential to produce sugar than sugarcane. Sugarcane has 7% sugar while sugar beet produces between 16% to 20% sugar. Another advantage is that we can harvest the crop after every five months which means we can produce more sugar in a year compared to sugarcane,” says Njuguna.

Sugar beet crop in Nyandarua

Nyandarua Governor Kiarie Badilisha while touring the factory and visiting farmers who had gathered for training by the County Department of Agriculture in one of the farms growing the crop encouraged farmers to take up the crop’s cultivation which he said is doing extremely well in those climatic conditions and soils. He also gave his undertaking to have the factory operationalized by providing the investor with all government support necessary. The County Government has also given out sugar beet seeds to farmers.

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