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Mixed Feelings As Busoga Out-growers Get Pay Rise :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Mixed Feelings As Busoga Out-growers Get Pay Rise

Sugarcane out-growers in Busoga have a reason to smile after Kakira Sugar Limited granted them a price increase for their cane contribution to the sugar factory. After six months of negotiations, the out-growers will effective July 1, 2013 earn 74,000 shillings per ton of sugar cane supplied to Kakira Sugar.

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Sugarcane out-growers in Busoga have a reason to smile after Kakira Sugar Limited granted them a price increase for their cane contribution to the sugar factory.

After six months of haggling, the out-growers will effective July 1, 2013 earn 74,000 shillings per ton of sugar cane supplied to Kakira Sugar.

The farmers have for the last two years been earning 70,000 shillings, which has often been described as an exploitative price. The increase has also affected the out-growers’ annual sugarcane arrears that have been increased from 2,000 shillings per ton to 12,000 shillings.

The Sugar Industry contributes more than 350 billion shillings to the country's earnings annually, but the more than 10,000 out-growers earn only 40.2% of the value after the increment.

Many farmers have over the years been forced to abandon their plantations because they were not seeing any value for money. They claim the increment has only been on sugar from the cane transport but not on other income generating by –products got from the sugarcane which remains exploitative.

Nuhu Sajjabi, the Coordinator Busoga Sugarcane Out-growers Association, says the out growers should have more input in the sugarcane price formula to accommodate all the benefits Kakira Sugar Limited gets from the sugarcane they sell to the factory.

\\\\ Cue in: “And now that…

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While some farmers jubilate over the new price, there is fear that the increase could attract new farmers and lead to further destruction of the forests.

David Ojwang, the Chairman Busoga Out-growers Association, says the sugarcane farmers should be calm and present their demands through the association after Kakira Sugar Limited agreed to increase the price of sugarcane. Ojwang is happy because sugarcane growing remains one of the most profitable farming activities in Busoga region.

Wilson Bagoloile, a farmer says Kakira Sugar Limited could have done much more than increasing the price by 4000 shillings.

In April 2013 the out-growers had proposed an increment from 70,000 shillings per ton to 100,000 shillings to help farmers to foot costs on transport, cutting and loading sugarcane as well as paying for the other by products Kakira Sugar Limited gets from the sugarcane apart from sugar.

Robert Omoding, the manager Kakira Sugarcane out-growers, says the effect is already being felt after the increment in the price of sugarcane per ton.

//Cue in: “We already gave…

Cue out:…seventy four thousand.”//

In 2009, after eight years of negotiations, the out-growers earned 40,165 shillings per ton of sugar cane supplied to Kakira Sugar up from 37,550 shillings.

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