Museveni noted that although sugar mills within Busoga region are suffering raw material scarcity due to the increased number of mills, there is an increase in the number of cane farmers who lack where to sell their harvest.
H.E Yoweri Museveni addressing sugarcane farmers.
Zoning for sugar mills
has outlived its importance to the economy due to the surplus cane, according
to President, Yoweri Museveni. He said this while addressing cane farmers at Bugembe
stadium in Jinja district on Wednesday.
Under the old sugar
policy, no sugar factory would be allowed to set up with a radius of 25
kilometer from another. This was meant to reduce competition for cane and allow
the steady supply to the sugar mills.
Museveni noted that although
sugar mills within Busoga region are suffering raw material scarcity due to the
increased number of mills, there is an increase in the number of cane farmers
who lack where to sell their harvest.
Busoga has four major sugar factories in Jinja, Kamuli, Mayuge and Kaliro
districts with an estimated 44,000 registered cane out growers. According to
Museveni, farmers are in dire need of market for their yield but factories lack
sufficient capacity to absorb the cane.
"This debate of
zoning was very important then when mills lacked enough cane but since we are
operating in surplus with mills lacking room for out growers' produce, then
zoning is no longer applicable," he said.
Adding that, "We cannot vie
for zoning at a time like this when more small scale sugar processing plants
are needed to relieve farmers of their bumper harvest.”
Museveni tasked sugar cane farmers to draft a detailed development plan that
will be implemented by Uganda Development Cooperation-UDC to construct a sugar
mill for the farmers.
He says government will construct the plant and on
completion, the project shall become a public private partnership between the
state and the farmers.
Issa Budhugo, the Chairperson
Busoga Sugarcane Out grower’s Union says mills can no longer consume 50% of the
out growers' produce, which is costing farmers.
"Farmers invest almost one
million Shillings in every acre of sugarcane but if there is no market for the
cane then farmers will derail in loses," he said.