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Njeru Moves to Limit Sugarcane Growing

The municipal council proposed that sugarcane planting be limited to places near the main roads within the three divisions of the Central, Nyenga and Wakisi. The council also proposed complete abolition of sugar growing in the central division and in the areas next to the trading centres of the two divisions citing under development and insecurity in the area.
Martin Mbazo one of the sugarcane grower walking through his plantation.

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A section of farmers in Njeru have protested the move by the municipal authorities to limit sugarcane growing along the roads.

The municipal council proposed that sugarcane planting be limited to places near the main roads within the three divisions of Central, Nyenga and Wakisi.

It also proposed complete abolition of sugarcane growing in the central division and in the areas next to the trading centres of the two divisions citing under development and insecurity in the area.

According to the municipal Mayor Yasin Kyazze, sugarcane makes the town look bushy and resulting into fights with other farmers who grow different types of crops in the area.

He says farmers claim poor yields of other crops like beans, potatoes, cassava and banana in gardens surrounded by the sugarcane plantations. 

According to World Wildlife Fund report of 2004 titled ‘Sugar and the Environment’, sugar is responsible for more biodiversity loss than any other crop, due to its destruction of habitat to make way for plantations, intensive use of water for irrigation, heavy use of agricultural chemicals, and the polluted wastewater that is routinely discharged in the sugar production process.

It also indicates that sugar production take its toll on surrounding soil, water and air, especially in threatened tropical ecosystems near the equator.

Robert Nsubuga, the municipality production officer says development is everyone’s desire explaining that they intend to engage various growers on the matter but not simply force them to stop growing sugar since they own land in various places.

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However, sugarcane growers claim that such regulations are rushed.

David Lumiisa, one of the growers at Central Ward B says it is only intended to leave their land idle since they lack money to set up other developments.

He reasons that the municipality should consider the move after setting up a source for low-profit start-up capital for other project developments or else they are leaving them with no option other than maintaining growing of sugar.

Livingstone Kintu another grower believes that such initiatives would be swiftly implemented in the community that is just growing. 

“We need to see the community grow however limiting us from growing sugar is not the solution to the municipality development, let there be several other initiatives we shall find ourselves finding other places to do farming,” Kintu notes. 

Michael Odeba, a councillor representing Upper Nnaava notes that the proposal is rushed. He says that the authorities should wait for the enactment of the Sugar Bill.

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