Sugarcane Growers Demand Inclusion in Operation Wealth Creation

3704 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Sugarcane growers in Busoga region say the program has sidelined them. The region has close to 25,000 sugarcane growers who have been mobilized and motivated by the five sugar factories in the sub region.

Sugar cane growers in Busoga sub region are demanding for inclusion in governments Operation Wealth Creation, a program started to enhance household participation in commercial agricultural production.

The program, which runs under the National Agricultural Advisory Services-NAADS, is used for community mobilization, distribution of agricultural inputs, and facilitation of agricultural production chains across the country.

But Sugarcane growers in Busoga region say the program has sidelined them. The region has close to 25,000 sugarcane growers who have been mobilized and motivated by the five sugar factories in the sub region.

Noah Sajjabbi, the Manager of Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association says they have tried to acquire agricultural inputs through the Operation Wealth Creation program in vain.
 
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Sarah Mbwali, a resident of Wandago trading centre says they would be more food secure if the program provided them with seedlings for cane and food crops. 

Angella Kintu Rwabose, the spokesperson of Kakira Sugar Limited, one of the factories based in Jinja, implores government to supplement their efforts by providing the farmers with seedlings and other farm inputs. She also calls for support in sugarcane research.

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Lt Colonel Oguli Dhamuzungu, the Busoga sub region zonal commander says that sugarcane farmers need to acquire genuine documents and have plans for what exactly they want to do.

"Without proper plans, sugarcane farmers could create more food insecurity in Busoga sub region and they need to be clearly documented before they benefit from the program." Dhamuzungu said in a phone interview.

He says the five acre ordinance, which only allows people with five acres and above to grow sugarcane has not been followed. According to the ordinance sugarcane farmers must grow food on two acres of land and sugarcane on the remaining three. No one is allowed to grow sugarcane with less than five acres, but this still happens in Busoga sub region.