AGRICULTUREBUSINESS

Nyandarua County Farmers turning their attention to sugar beet farming

Farmers in Nyandarua County are turning their attention to sugar beet farming as a potentially lucrative venture following the establishment of a beet sugar processing factory in Kipipiri Constituency.

The farmers believe that sugar beet production holds more promising returns compared to other crops in the region, and it demands less labor than crops like potatoes and maize.

Kamau Komu and Gitau Iregi, farmers from Tulasha area in Kipipiri, express their optimism about the profitability of sugar beets and are actively considering its cultivation. Their sentiments are echoed by a group of farmers in Kinangop, Kipipiri, and Ndaragwa constituencies who have been experimenting with the viability of sugar beet as an alternative agricultural pursuit.

Sugar beet plants
Sugar beet plants

The construction of the processing firm, once operational, marks a significant development as it will be the first of its kind outside the Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley, and Coast regions.

Sugar beet plants have demonstrated a high sucrose concentration compared to cane, potentially offering a solution to Kenya’s national sugar deficit. Currently, Kenya produces 600,000 tonnes of sugar annually against a consumption of 800,000 tonnes, necessitating imports to meet the shortfall.

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The sugar top variety, particularly well-suited to Nyandarua’s climatic conditions, matures in 90-95 days and boasts an 18% sugar content. Aside from sugar production, sugar beet is versatile, utilized in bioethanol production, livestock feed, and human consumption. It also serves as a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.

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Ken Maasai

Ken Wakuraya is a seasoned Journalist with official accreditation from the Media Council of Kenya, possessing extensive expertise in covering political, Entertainment, and Human interest stories.

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