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Sugarcane Transporters, Out Growers Protest Unfair Trade Practices

According to Kakembo, they are now working below average yet they invest a lot in transporting the sugarcanes. He wants the government to set a price ceiling for sugarcane so that they can recover their money.
Some of the trucks parked with Sugarcanes waiting to be taken to the factory

Audio 4

Over 200 sugarcane out-growers and transporters are accusing the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited Lugazi -SCOUL in Lugazi in Buikwe district of unfair trade practices. The transporters buy sugarcane from farmers and Mehta for sale to the factory.  

However, they claim that Indians who are supposed to buy the sugarcane from them have also started buying it directly from farmers using proxies to kick them out of business. Led by their Chairperson, William Kakembo, the Sugarcane out-growers and Transporters, say that they have tried talking to the factory management in vain.  

According to Kakembo, they are now working below average yet they invest a lot in transporting the sugarcanes. He wants the government to set a price ceiling for sugarcane so that they can recover their money.

//Cue in: “As we the sugarcane transporters…  

Cue out:…till Dec 2021.”//

Davis Agaba, another transporter narrates that lately due to the decision of SCOUL to engage in the transport business, they are failing to break even.

//Cue in: “The transport fare…

Cue out:…replace you with an Indian.”//

According to the transporters, they get permits to transport and sell cane to SCOUL. Agaba also notes that the factory takes long to give them permits compared to their competitors, which leads to the harvest of overgrown sugarcane, which lose weight and make them suffer losses.

//Cue in: “When you ask…  

Cue out…profits in this business.”//

Alice Nakato, a sugarcane farmer, says that the transporters who work on behalf of some Indians from SCOUL always want to buy the sugarcanes at a lower price compared to what the transporters pay. John Nkuubi, another farmer says that they spend a lot of their productive time waiting for their turn, which affects their livelihood.   

//Cue in: “Abalima ebikajo banigizibwa…  

Cue out:…agezako okwogela anyigilizibwa.”//

Stephen Sserubula, the Lugazi Municipality Member of Parliament, notes that all that these people want is to be heard and their issues worked on. He says that he wants to see the farmers, transporters, and factories equally benefiting from one another.

//Cue in: “These people have…

Cue out:…losing your property.”//

Bachu Suarez, the in-charge of SCOUL Sugarcane Out Growers declined to comment on the matter when contacted by our reporter.