The implementation of the sugarcane growing management ordinance in Busoga has boosted food production in the region. In 2012, district councils in Busoga region passed the sugarcane Management Ordinances. The ordinance requires each farmer to grow at least 2 acres of food crops. It emphasizes proper management of sugarcane plantations and food crops in a bid to improve food security.
The ordinance was prompted by food insecurity that hit the region due to the fact that farmers were using all their land for sugarcane production and ignoring food crops. However, reports from the various district production departments and farmers show the food production has increased since sugarcane growing management ordinance came into force.
Farmers are now planting maize, rice, beans, potatoes, cassava, fruit trees like Avocado, oranges and paw-paws. Daniel Muwanga, the chairperson Jinja farmer’s forum says at least most of the former sugarcane plantations have been replaced with food crops adding that, land fragmentation and selling of harvested food crops still remains a challenge.
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Dr Stephen Kiwemba, the Jinja district production officer says although the sugarcane growing management ordinance was passed last year, farmers in areas like Busede, Buyengo and Kakira complied and planted at least two acres of food crops. John Kayaka, a sugarcane farmer from Kamwirungu village in Bulongo sub-county in Luuka district says at first he had reservations about the ordinance but he now has sufficient food from his eight acres of land.
He grows peas, bananas, cassava, rears poultry and potatoes on the three acres of land. Kayaka says he turned to food crops when the president complained that sugarcane growing was causing food insecurity.
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Samuel Kakyada, the Luuka LC V Chairperson says reports of malnourished children and starvation have reduced in his district since the ordinance was enforced. Sugarcane growing in Busoga region increased following the establishment of seven sugar factories that include: Mayuge Sugar Limited, Kenlon in Namasagali, Kamuli Sugar in Kamuli, GM in Njeru and Sugar, Allied Industries Limited (SAIL) in Kaliro and Kakira sugarworks limited.