The Potential Of Life Cycle Management For Sustainable Production Of Sugar At Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya

ABSTRACT

As the international community continues to embrace sustainability thinking in decisionmaking,

the sugarcane industry too has to adopt and operate within principles of sustainable

entrepreneurship. A key input in this evolving paradigm is application of Life Cycle

Management approach, whose focus is to determine sustainability concerns at all stages of a

product’s life cycle so as to attune business to economic viability, social responsibility and

environmental soundness. This study assessed the potential of Life Cycle Management in the

sugar industry focusing on Mumias Sugar Company. The study was aimed at evaluating the

management of impacts at sugar production, transport, processing and waste management.

Data were collected using focused group discussions, observation, key informant interviews

and laboratory analysis methods. The scope of the study was restricted to environmental

concerns. Data from Key informant interviews and focussed group discussions were

transcribed and analysed based on thematic areas. Results showed that, at the farm level,

continuous cropping, lack of adherence to contracts by the company and sugarcane fires were

identified as key factors affecting productivity. At the transport phase, poor state of feeder

roads and poor sugarcane stacking were responsible for significant sugarcane spillage losses

thus directly lowering the farmer’s income. At the sugar processing phase, high waste

generation evidenced by high values of Chemical Oxygen Demand (1430mg/l), Biological

Oxygen Demand (605mg/l), and Total Suspended Solids (347.5 mg/l) in the treated

wastewater from the factory compared to critical standard values (BOD maximum=30mg/l, COD

maximum=50mg/l, Total Suspended solids maximum =30mg/l). High levels of the above parameters

deprive aquatic plants and animals oxygen required for respiration. Also noted was high

water consumption levels (8640M3) with recycling putting pressure on the water source

(River Nzoia). High pollution levels of Nitrous oxide ,carbon monoxide(1,748,494 tonnes per

year) and carbon dioxide (2,747,527 tonnes/year) At the waste management phase, there was

limited utilization of molasses whereby it was only being used as an animal feed and

industrial use to produce denatured spirits. Opportunities for industrial symbiosis exist for

transforming molasses into bio-ethanol production which is used to blend petrol for use as

motor vehicle fuel with minimum tail emissions. Use of polythene bags for packaging retail

sugar adds to the plastic menace thus undermining best practices. Filter mud was used as a

soil conditioner without planned monitoring for heavy metals (Cadmium (10ppm) and Zinc

(8ppm)) although their levels were below critical levels but could in the long run bioaccumulate

thus affecting productivity. There was lack of declaration of impacts of inputs

used sugar production process providing a challenge on control of emissions at source.

Mumias Sugar Company needs to adopt sustainable procurement where all suppliers of inputs

are required to declare the environmental impacts of their products thus eliminating inputs

with high environmental emissions. There is need for monitoring of contractors on land

preparation, harvesting and transport so as to comply to set guidelines. Mumias Sugar

Company should also honour contracts signed with farmers to avoid losses due to late

harvesting. There is need for improvement of roads through the public private sector

partnership. Sugarcane loaders need to be sensitized to avoid over staking of cane that leads

to spillage. There is need for adoption of green procurement that will require declarations of all environmental impacts of all the inputs in the sugar production process.

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APA

MARABU, A (2021). The Potential Of Life Cycle Management For Sustainable Production Of Sugar At Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/the-potential-of-life-cycle-management-for-sustainable-production-of-sugar-at-mumias-sugar-company-kenya

MLA 8th

MARABU, ABRAHAM "The Potential Of Life Cycle Management For Sustainable Production Of Sugar At Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya" Afribary. Afribary, 26 May. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-potential-of-life-cycle-management-for-sustainable-production-of-sugar-at-mumias-sugar-company-kenya. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

MLA7

MARABU, ABRAHAM . "The Potential Of Life Cycle Management For Sustainable Production Of Sugar At Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya". Afribary, Afribary, 26 May. 2021. Web. 17 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/the-potential-of-life-cycle-management-for-sustainable-production-of-sugar-at-mumias-sugar-company-kenya >.

Chicago

MARABU, ABRAHAM . "The Potential Of Life Cycle Management For Sustainable Production Of Sugar At Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 17, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/the-potential-of-life-cycle-management-for-sustainable-production-of-sugar-at-mumias-sugar-company-kenya