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.
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.