Darakuta has a small amount of very productive agricultural lands where we produce sugar cane, corn and indigenous bananas.
We also grow our own eucalyptus trees which we use as powerline poles and other construction around the ranch.
Sugar cane accounts for 80% of sugar produced worldwide; the rest is mainly extracted from sugar beets. More than 50% of production is manually harvested and predominantly grown in developing countries. Although Africa only accounts for about 5% of world cane sugar production, 30% of this comes from East Africa.
At Darakuta we do not mill or process our sugarcane, but sell directly to larger mill owners like Manyara Sugar Company Ltd. after harvesting manually. Working in the cane fields is tough business, but our skilled employees make it look like a piece of cake – take a look at the video opposite!
Eucalyptus trees and are a fast-growing source of wood and yield beautifully straight and long trunks that are ideal for holding power lines and for use in construction. The wood also contains a natural oil that repels termites, making it very useful in East Africa. However, Eucalyptus trees are water guzzlers and show allelopathic effects, meaning they release compounds that inhibit other plant species from growing nearby. Finally, they are a non-native species that originates from Australia and Indonesia, and can be somewhat fire prone due to the high oil content in their crowns.
For all the above reasons we grow eucalyptus for Ranch use only on a very small section of land, where water supply is sufficient, and manage it actively to prevent any unchecked spread.