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Forbidden fruit is the sweetest as sugar cane farmers suffer

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Farmers walk through an area in a field where their sugar cane has been cut and stolen for making home-made beer.
Farmers walk through an area in a field where their sugar cane has been cut and stolen for making home-made beer.

Some small-scale sugar cane farmers in Mpumalanga hope the decision by the government to lift the ban on the sale of liquor will go a long way towards reducing theft on their farms.

Manufacturers of an alcoholic drink made from sugar cane, in the Nkomazi area, left small-scale farmers counting their losses, as the thieves have been plundering their fields since the prohibition of liquor sales during the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown.

The farmers had even asked Mpumalanga agriculture and rural development MEC, Vusi Shongwe, to intervene and save their livelihoods because signs were that they would lose more of their harvest during the lockdown and as home-brewed liquor producers saw the increasing demand.

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