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BIG BEND - The Eswatini Sugar Association (ESA) on Friday officially opened a new bagging and warehouse facility at Ubombo Mills in Big Bend.

ESA said a series of engagements and deliberations ensued when the plan to construct this facility was brought before the ESA Council by the commercial team in September 2017. This was mentioned by ESA’s President Stuart Geldenhuys on Friday during the official opening of the facility at Ubombo Mill. Geldenhuys said part of the many deliberations included hashing out the advantages and disadvantages of the expansion, in relation to the construction of a central warehouse for closer proximity to the customer base. He said the former presented a stronger business case, given amongst other factors, its proximity to the old warehouse which would enhance systematic and synchronised workflow. “It became evident that with the changing global trends and volatile markets, we needed to rethink our approach to ensure sustainable growth for the product and the industry,” he said.


ESA CEO Dr. Phil Mnisi, said they are grateful to Council for approving the budget to increase the bagging and storage capacity of this facility to meet this objective for the betterment of the industry. He said this will assist ESA to better fulfill its mandate of increasing returns for its members, the growers and the millers and to ensure their sustainability. Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo said Eswatini’s sugar industry, did not only contribute close to 10 per cent of the country’s GDP, but is also the largest private sector employer in the kingdom. He said this project is one of those that are listed as initiatives that could result in the recovery of the economic from the past economic shocks and it is pleasing to see that the project has indeed been implemented.

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