Publications des agents du Cirad


The sugar cane harvest amongst small South African growers : Generals organisation and the role of small contractors (case study at Amatikulu)

Le Gal P.Y., Requis E.. 1999. Montpellier : CIRAD-TERA, 30 p.. numero_rapport: CIRAD-TERA N° 86-99.

Over the past few years the South African Sugar Industry has integrated the production of small black growers. Placed today in a context of liberalism and the quest for competitiveness, it is looking for ways to improve the efficiency of this group of farmers. The management of the harvest to the mill is one area that can be getting improved upon with respect to supplies, reduction of delays and production costs. The hypothesis was that the observed problems are essentially caused by the small contractors that conduct the harvest for the farmers. Therefore, a study was conducted over a period of six months in order to 1) specify the context in which these businesses evolve; 2) analyse their performances and management methods; 3) come up with recommendations for improvement. Conducted at the Amatikulu sugar mill, the study highlighted the irregularity of contractor's performances concerning the quantity of cane delivered per day. This irregularity is explained by problems of financial management and by the way in which work is organised with the growers. Accordingly, small scale contracting is rarely profitable. But the contractors are not the only ones responsible for these problems. The sub-committees, responsible for co-ordinating the harvest from small growers' fields to loading zone, do not succeed in their role. They are not proactive in solving the difficulties encountered by the contractors in order to fill their allocations. In addition to training the contractors in financial management, in the organisation of work and in the management of information, we propose that a joint enquiry be conducted into the organisational systems being put in place, to increase the overall efficiency of the small cane production sector.

Mots-clés : canne à sucre; récolte; service; coût de production; petite exploitation agricole; organisation du travail; afrique du sud

Documents associés

Document technique