Out-growers’ Extension Services (OES)
Out-growers’ extension services (OES) refer to the dissemination of information and technology to farmers to help them improve their cane farming practices, increase productivity, and maximize their profits. These services are critical in ensuring that our farmers adopt the latest technologies and practices to enhance their yield.
OES play a critical role in the company. These services provide farmers with access to the latest farming practices, technology, and innovations that can help them increase their productivity and income. Extension services also help farmers to address various challenges they may face, including pests and diseases, climate change, and market access.
SonySugar offers various extension services to sugarcane farmers, including agronomy, soil and variety composition, pest and disease control, and farm business management. The agronomy services provided by SonySugar include advice on planting early maturing varieties, weeding, fertilizer application, and crop rotation. Soil and variety composition services focus on soil fertility management, soil conservation, cane variety management and cane yield management. Pest and disease control services aim to minimize crop losses caused by pests and diseases, and farm business management services provide farmers with information on farm management practices, record-keeping, and financial management and access to ICT services online.
The supply of quality seed-cane is critical to the success of sugarcane production. Quality seed-cane ensures that farmers produce high-yielding, disease-resistant, and healthy sugarcane crops. The quality of seed-cane directly affects the productivity and profitability of sugarcane farming. High-quality seed-cane results in high-yielding and healthy crops that are resistant to pests and diseases. On the other hand, poor-quality seed-cane can lead to low yields, poor crop quality, and significant losses to farmers.
As one of the largest sugar company in Kenya, SonySugar plays a critical role in the supply of quality seed-cane to farmers. The company has established a Hot Water Treatment Plant (HWTP) that aims to produce high-quality seed-cane for establishing primary nursery plots. The program involves the supply of disease-free and high-yielding sugarcane varieties, which are then planted in the primary nurseries.
Farmer Recruitment Process
The recruitment process for farmers at SonySugar is a well-structured and rigorous procedure that involves several steps to ensure that the acquired plots meet minimum criteria set. By following this process, SonySugar can ensure that the land acquired is suitable for sugarcane farming, and that the farmers have the resources and support they need to succeed.
The first step in the process is land identification and acquisition. This is typically carried out by the supervisor, who is responsible for identifying suitable land that can be used for sugarcane farming. Once the land has been identified, the supervisor will work to acquire the land, by negotiating for a contract farming agreement with the landowner.
Once the land has been acquired, the supervisor will make an application in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The application will include details about the land, such as its location, size, and suitability for sugarcane farming.
After the application has been made, the supervisor will carry out a physical inspection of the land to ensure that it meets the required standards for sugarcane farming. This will involve checking for proof of land ownership, size of the plot, soil quality, assessing the drainage, road accessibility, and determining the suitability of the land for sugarcane farming.
Once the physical inspection has been carried out, the supervisor will seek initial approval in the ERP system from the superintendent. This approval is necessary before the process can proceed to the next stage.
After the initial approval has been obtained, the supervisor will seek final approval from the Outgrowers’ Extension Manager. This approval is necessary before contracts can be printed and signed.
Once final approval has been obtained, the contracts for the farmers can be printed. These contracts will include details such as the size of the land to be acquired, and the terms of the agreement.
The final step in the process is the signing of the farmers’ contracts. This will typically be done in the presence of a representative from SonySugar and the farmer. Once the contracts have been signed, the Company will be given access to the land, and they can begin preparing the land for sugarcane farming.
In addition to the steps outlined above, SonySugar may also request a soil analysis to be carried out on the land. This analysis will provide information about the soil quality and help to determine the best fertilizers to be used for sugarcane farming.
Research and Cane Farming Development Training
Sugarcane farming is an important industry that contributes significantly to the economy of many countries, including Kenya. However, like any other industry, sugarcane farming faces numerous challenges, including declining yields, rising costs, and increasing competition. To address these challenges and remain competitive, it is important to invest in research and training programs.
Research and training are essential components of any successful sugarcane farming operation. Through research, farmers can identify new techniques, technologies, and practices that can improve yields, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. Training programs, on the other hand, provide farmers with the knowledge and skills they need to implement these new techniques and technologies effectively.
Moreover, research and training programs can also help farmers to adapt to changing environmental conditions, such as climate change, and address emerging challenges, such as pest and disease outbreaks.
SonySugar, one of the leading sugarcane farming companies in Kenya, has a robust research and training program. The company invests heavily in research to identify new technologies, practices, and approaches that can improve sugarcane yields and reduce costs. SonySugar has also established training programs to provide farmers with the skills and knowledge they need to implement these new approaches effectively.
SonySugar's research programs focus on areas such as soil management, seed-cane plots establishment, pest and disease control, and variety development. The company also collaborates with research institutions to undertake joint research projects.
SonySugar's training programs cover topics such as land preparation, planting, weed control, fertilization, harvesting, and post-harvest handling (ratoon maintenance). The company provides both classroom-based training and practical field demonstrations to ensure that farmers have a comprehensive understanding of the various techniques and technologies.
Sugarcane development services are crucial for the success of sugarcane farming. Sugarcane is a high-value crop that requires considerable investment, and farmers need to maximize their yields to remain profitable. By providing development services, SonySugar helps farmers to optimize their yields, reduce costs, and increase their profitability.
Another benefit of sugarcane development services is reduced costs. SonySugar provides land development services, which include ploughing, harrowing, and farrowing. By providing these services to farmers, SonySugar reduces the cost of land preparation, which can be a significant expense for farmers. Additionally, by supplying high-quality inputs, SonySugar helps to reduce the cost of pest and disease control, reducing the need for expensive pesticides and herbicides.
Additionally, cane development services also help to ensure the long-term sustainability of sugarcane farming. Through the provision of high-quality inputs, SonySugar helps to maintain soil fertility, reduce soil erosion and provision of improved variety. Efficient transportation services reduce wastage and ensure that the sugarcane arrives at the factory in good condition.
SonySugar's cane development services have had a significant impact on the company's operations. These services have improved yields, reduced costs, and increased efficiency, making SonySugar more competitive in the industry. By investing in cane development services, SonySugar is helping to build a stronger and more sustainable sugarcane industry in Kenya.
Finally, cane development services have helped SonySugar to remain competitive in the industry. By providing high-quality inputs, extension services, and land development services, SonySugar has been able to improve yields, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. This has helped the company to remain competitive with other sugarcane farming companies in the industry.
Billing and Payment Processing
SonySugar has invested heavily in technology and innovation to improve its operations and increase efficiency. One of the key areas where SonySugar has invested is in its ERP systems to enable efficient billing and payment systems for cane farmers and contractors alike.
SonySugar's ERP systems are designed to manage all aspects of its operations, including land acquisition, cane development, input supply, harvesting, transportation, weighbridge operations, billing and payment processing. The ERP system is a centralized system that integrates various business functions such agriculture, weighbridge, sugar production, finance, procurement, and quality assurance. SonySugar's ERP systems provide real-time data on sugarcane production, input supplied, transportation, and processing. This data is critical for effective decision-making and optimizing the company's operations.
Sugarcane is a delicate crop that requires careful handling to maintain its quality and high sucrose content. SonySugar has implemented various measures to ensure that sugarcane is harvested and transported efficiently to maintain its quality. The 48-hour rule is a policy implemented by SonySugar that requires sugarcane to be transported within 48 hours of harvesting. This policy is critical to maintain the high sucrose content of sugarcane, which is critical for the production of high-quality sugar. If sugarcane is left in the field for too long, its sucrose content begins to deteriorate, reducing the quality of the sugar produced.
Weighing sugarcane is a critical aspect of the sugarcane supply chain, as it determines the amount of sugarcane supplied by farmers and contractors. SonySugar has implemented an automated weighbridge systems to weigh sugarcane accurately. The automated weighbridge system is used to weigh sugarcane trucks, tractors and other small vehicles.
The automated weighbridge system is equipped with sensors that capture the weight of the sugarcane trucks as they pass through the weighbridge. This data is automatically recorded in SonySugar's ERP system, providing real-time data on the quantity and quality of sugarcane supplied by farmers and contractors.
The billing process for contractors and farmers begins with the weighing of sugarcane using the automated weighbridge systems. The data obtained from the weighbridge is then entered into SonySugar's ERP system, which automatically generates invoices for the contractors and farmers. Job completion certificate is signed by the farmer before invoice is prorated and generated in the ERP system.The invoices are then sent to the contractors and farmers for verification and approval.
Once the contractors and farmers have verified the invoices, the finance department then uses this information to initiate payments to the contractors and farmers' bank accounts.
The ERP system is equipped with features such as real-time reporting and data analytics, enabling SonySugar to monitor the efficiency of its billing and payment processes continually. This data is crucial for identifying areas that require improvement and ensuring that the billing and payment processes run smoothly.
SonySugar's implementation of ERP systems for billing and payment has significantly improved the efficiency of its operations. These systems have enabled SonySugar to generate accurate invoices, process payments quickly, and provide contractors and farmers with real-time access to their billing information. The benefits of using ERP systems for billing and payment are evident, and they are crucial for ensuring that sugarcane farmers and contractors are paid accurately and on time for their produce.