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Atiak Out Growers Petition Parliament over Stalled Sugar Factory

The out growers, from the district of Gulu, Amuru, Lamwo and Adjumani say they are stuck with hectares of sugar cane plantations in the absence of the factory which was anticipated to be their sole buyer.
The out growers who petitioned Parliament today

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More than 200 out growers from Northern Uganda have petitioned parliament to compel the government to release funds for the Atiak Sugar Factory.

The out growers, from the district of Gulu, Amuru, Lamwo and Adjumani say they are stuck with hectares of sugar cane plantations in the absence of the factory which was anticipated to be their sole buyer.

Atiak Sugar Factory in Amuru district is an establishment under Haryal investment Holdings Limited, owned by Amina Hirse Moghe.  Its operations were kick started five years ago and the company started buying sugarcane from out growers. However, it could not sustain production due to financial constraints.

Reports indicate that Haryal investment Holdings Limited also failed to pay off a loan amounting to 18 billion Shillings acquired from the defunct Crane bank.

In 2017, the government through the Minister of finance Matia Kasaija committed a credit of 62 billion Shillings to the boost the Company, whose financial state had affected its production capacity. Kasaija said the money would be provided to buy equipment.

However, the commitment has not been fulfilled to date. According to the petition read by Kilak North MP Anthony Akol, the investment is currently static due to funding challenges. He says the locals planted cane instead of food crops and without the factory; over 1600 hectares are going to waste.

Okello Makweri, from Atiak Sub County says he planted 2 acres of sugar cane which he has no market for.

 

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The farmers through Atiak Sugar Out growers Cooperative society and Gel Pacilo Sacco have pleaded with Parliament to task the finance ministry to bail them out by releasing the funds and compensate out growers for the cane that is getting to waste.

Santa Joyce Laker, the chairperson of Atiak Out growers Sacco said thousands of out growers are stuck with sugar cane and they cannot transport it anywhere or sell it anywhere.

 

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The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said that she was surprised that the funding was not availed.

 

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