SUGAR BILL 2016: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to meet sugar canes out growers before the sugar bill 2016 is tabled again in parliament.
Sugarcane multinational companies procured all sugar belt licenses in the country, blocking new investors who have an interest in the sugar industry.
As a result, Sugarcane farmers under their umbrella body Uganda Sugarcane Out Growers Farmers Association, have petitioned the government to revoke all licences of non-existing sugar mills to create chances to potential investors who wish to invest in the sector.
Budhugo Ismail, chairman sugar canes out growers said that president Museveni is set to meet them on Wednesday next week in Busoga, to discuss the sugar bill 2016 before it’s tabled again for debate and passing by parliament.
“President called us and said he’s going to meet us but we have not received any communication as of now, but official communication. He’s going to meet us,” Budhugo Ismail chairperson sugarcane out growers said.
The planned meeting between the President and Sugarcane farmers follows issues raised by farmers that existing sugar mills blocked potential investors wishing to invest in the sector. Farmers say these mill procured all licences in the sugar belt.
These farmers added that they are now stuck with their sugarcane due to lack of market.
“They went ahead and procured licences for mills across the sugarcane belt. Right from Kayunga, you go to Bugweri right now, you go to Bulamuti, to Namasagali, you go to Budiope that’s Buyende, you go to Bugiri, you go to Buzinga in Jinja their licenced sugar mills that are not supposed to be there. And these licenced sugar mills were procured by the same existing millers owning these licences,” Mugogo Tucker, Lawyer, sugarcane out growers said.
“They don’t want to establish Mills there not because they don’t have the capacity, but because they don’t want to increase the consumption rate which will definitely drive the prices upwards. We want the government to revoke all uninstalled licences and those licences are issued to people,” Mugogo added.
Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association, however, in a written statement to the farmers said that the process of zoning is responsible for fluctuating sugar canes rates in the country.
“The chairman told me and informed me in the letter, that excess canes are as a result of lack of zoning. Can you imagine?”
However, sugar cane farmers insist on exporting their excess canes to Kenya, since the mills in Uganda clearly said that they cannot consume all the sugar produced.
“So, we need to export sugarcanes in the short term as a mitigating factor to the farmers. We need to export these excessive sugarcanes that the millers cannot consume,” Mugogo said.