Parliament Committees To Study Sugar industry, Prices

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In short
President Museveni has tasked two Parliamentary committees to gather data on the sugar industry and sugar prices internationally in a bid to resolve concern among sugar players.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has tasked two Parliamentary Committees to gather information on the sugar industry and sugar prices internationally in a bid to resolve the current challenge among players in the sugar industry.
The move follows bickering between giant sugar manufacturers and new players over zoning. 

Originally the sugar companies funded an out grower system where a company gives an out grower seeds and fertilizers, in return being assured of raw products. Also, traditional sugar companies dominated specific territories but this is changing with the emergence of the new players.
In Busoga, GM Sugar, Kaliro Sugar and Mayuge seem to be taking the territory that was largely dominated by Madhvani sugar. This has led to a number of challenges like sugar cane poaching, and price differences between the players.

It is from these concerns that in April, President Museveni issued a directive against licensing sugar factories unless they have guaranteed source of raw material. The president said some new companies were starting to poach out-growers who have contracts with other initial companies.

The President also directed that sugar factories must be established at least 50km away from each other. Museveni also said the failure to adhere to the zoning policy had created a crisis in the industry.

However out-growers from Buikwe, Mukono and Mayuge districts are against the zoning saying  it favors only big giants in the sugar industry against new players. Some of the new players are GM sugar in Mukono, Mayuge Sugar, Kamuli and Sezibwa sugar factory. These are reportedly entering the market dominated by giants like Kakira, Lugazi and Kinyara among others.

Now the NRM Caucus sitting today, tasked the Parliamentary committee on National economy and committee on trade to come out with statistics, prices and scientific data on sugar industry world wide.

According to Solomon Silwanyi, the NRM Caucus vice chairperson, the meeting decided that this issue of sugar can only be resolved through a study. He says the committees will establish what works best, find out if out-growers are being cheated among others. He says the committee has only two weeks to complete the findings.

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Alex Ruhunda, the chairperson Parliament committee on trade says an expert on sugar has been sourced and the committee is expected to get detailed data in as far as zoning and sugar pricing.

 
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The bickering in the sugar industries has also led to fluctuating sugar prices with the climax being in 2017 where sugar prices went as high as 8000 Uganda shillings.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.