ESM Ennepetaler Schneid- und Mähtechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Köner Str. 29
D 58256 Ennepetal

NOPAGRI: The CaneThumper® in Marocco

Report 1: (06/25/2009)

Morocco is a net importer of sugar of approximately 675 000 tons that they get mainly from Brazil, this makes up a total of 55% of their domestic use... 45% (550 000 tons) is made locally with three quarters coming from sugar beet and one quarter from sugarcane. This results in 140 000 tons of sugar being produced from their sugarcane produced. This amounts to 1.4 million tons of sugarcane required to be harvested annually at a yield of 65t/ha.

The fields are fairly flat and are generally planted flat or on a ridge. It is mainly irrigated using flood or drip irrigation.

The harvesting is done all by hand using a sharpened hoe to cut and a sickle to top. The cane is not cleaned very well and a large portion of trash gets delivered to the mill. The loading is done by hand that requires a lot of effort.

The CaneThumper® system fits smoothly into the Moroccan conditions at a cost of less than 20DH per ton and using less labour. It is perfect for the smaller farmers and its multi-purpose functions is ideal to offer the farmers a way to cut not only their cane but grass, weeds and other forage type crops.

Labour Requirements of the CaneThumper® in Marocco

The breakdown is the following:

  • Driver: 1 (110DH per day)
  • Windrowers: 5 women ( 70DH per day)
  • Toppers: 1-2 men (70DH per day)

Extra cleaners will be required in the heavy trash varieties so that clean cane is delivered to the mill and so that the farmer does not get penalties.

Cutting Efficiency

The cut was very low (ground level) on the flat lands.

The photo’s shows the cutting height. Where there is a large ridge the cutting height increases but is still less then comparing to manual harvesting.

This saving can get up to 4tons per ha since the manual cutters cut anywhere from 30mm to as much as 60mm above ground level.

This saving alone will pay for the machine in 3 years.


The output of the CaneThumper® can vary between places since it is very dependant on the local conditions and the managing of the farmer. For Morocco with 1.5m row spacing the following output can be achieved:

The speeds for the different gears are as follows: 1st gear = 0.8km/hr, 2nd gear = 1.5km/hr and 3rd gear = 2km/hr. If cutting in 2nd gear and considering that a ha at 1.5m row spacing is 6667m then 1 ha would take 4.5hrs.


The following costs were determined using a machine cost of 100 000DH, interest rates of 11%, labour costs between 70 and 110DH. With 65t/ha average yield then the following costs/ton and per hectare can be achieved depending on what area is cut per day.

 If 1 ha is cut in a day the following outlines the cost for the farmer:

Why should a Morrocan farmer buy a CaneThumper®?

  1. Decrease harvest cost down to as little as 50 Pesos per ton.
  2. Use any available labourers to cut the cane at an output of over 5tons per person per day.
  3. Management tool that helps lowering the cut to mill delay since it cuts so quickly and so raises the recovery of sugar for the farmer.
  4. Offers a lower cut that will give the farmer more yields at higher sugar content.
  5. Use it for weeding, mowing and cutting other crops that are normally done by hand.

This is the Moroccan dealer. This company is based in Bel Mechra Kisiri in Morocco. It is headed up by Paul Dussaut and has a strong team behind him that also deal in fertilizers from the sister company Oligodemer.

They can be contacted in the following way:

Tel: +212 665 102 091

Fax: +212 537 906 973