Trade and industry minister, Amelia Kyambadde is in Masindi to push for a government move to give away Isimba prison land to Kinyara Sugar Limited to expand their production.
Trade and industry minister, Amelia Kyambadde is in Masindi to push for a government plan to give away Isimba prison land to Kinyara Sugar Limited to expand their production.
But sugar cane out growers and some leaders in the area want the 900 hectares to be given to farmers instead. This comes amidst heated debate over a similar move by government to give away part of Mabira forest to another sugar producer, SCOUL.
Kinyara out growers contribute over 60% of the sugarcane to the factory but have been complaining of having a poor relationship with the factory management.
Masindi district chairperson, Wilson Isingoma wants government to give the Isimba prison land in Bwijanga Sub County to the community to grow sugar instead of Kinyara Sugar Limited.
Isingoma told the minister of tourism, trade and industry, Amelia Kyambadde, who is in Kinyara on a fact finding mission on issues affecting sugar production. Isingoma told the minister that when the land is given to the community it will empower them economically.
The out growers, through their Kinyara sugarcane growers limited chairperson Solomon Kaahwa, complained that unlike their counter parts in Tanzania who get 55% of the price of each Kilogram of sugar and in Kenya where the farmers get 52% of the price of Kilogram of sugar, Kinyara farmers are still getting 37% of the price yet they contribute 60% of the sugarcane.
Minister Kyambadde however tasked the general manager Kinyara sugar factory, P. V. Ramadasan to show cause why they want Isimba prison land.
Ramadasan explained that if the land is given to Kinyara sugar factory, sugar out put will be improved compared to when it is given to out growers.
He said the factory will also compensate government by buying another land and building a modern jail but farmers want it free of charge.
Ramadasan said the land will also help the factory to create more employment for the local people. He disclosed that since they introduced green cane harvesting, employment to the community has improved to 5000 cane cutters from 400 during 2007-2008 financial year.
He said the factory also employs 1600 manual loaders and pays approximately Shs700 million every month.
However, Ramadasan explained that the factory is facing a number of challenges including unplanned fires, where the factory lost about 3000 hectares of cane between December 2010 and February 2011, which is the main cause of not milling during July-August, 2011.
Kinyara currently has 24,000 hectares of cane; of which 15500 hectares is for out growers and only 8500 hectares is nuclear estate.
Ramadasan told the minister that lack of sugar cane will affect its performance in terms of milling. Currently, the factory milling capacity has doubled from 4000 tonnes to 8000 tonnes per day.
Kyambadde, who seemed to be supporting the give away of Isimba land to Kinyara, said that it’s on record that Kinyara’s performance is far better compared to other sugar factories in the world. She noted that they support farmers, which is not the case with other factories.
Kyambadde explained that this is the time to give the miller an opportunity to step up production but called for good relationship between farmers, community and the factory.
kinyara sugar works
sugarcane out growers