Government of Uganda has vowed not to accept any exportation of raw sugar to the neighbouring country Kenya.
This followed threats by sugarcane out growers’ that they will sell their raw sugar to Kenyan factories because Ugandan millers lowered raw sugar prices.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde while presenting a government ministerial statement in the plenary sitting said allowing out growers to sell their sugarcane to outside countries will create a shortage of raw materials to the manufactures in Uganda.
Early this week, Busoga sub-region Members of Parliament legislators led by Bugabula South legislator Morris Kibalya raised a matter of National importance on the floor of Parliament seeking government permission for farmers to export their raw sugar to Kenyan factories.
“I am asking whether it’s not even deliberate! Am not abusing anybody but I hope it’s not a cartel to punish the sugarcane growers of Uganda,” Kibalya stated.
In a plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Amelia Kyabadde, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives explained to MPs saying that the existing state of sugar has led to the high production of sugarcane which has caused the floatation.
Also, the ongoing maintenance at some major factories has contributed much towards low consumption of out growers’ sugarcane in the country.
“This ongoing maintenance has created a gap between the consumption of sugarcane.
However, on the resumption of these factories, the situation is expected to normalise soon.
Two we experienced some incidence of machinery breakdown in the nearby sugar millers namely Kamuli, Mayuge sugar factories,” Kyabadde explained.
She, however, said despite the challenges, the government will not allow any exportation of sugar to neighbouring Kenya as requested by both farmers and their representatives at parliament.
Stating that it will cause a shortage of raw material to the home factories.
“The issue of exporting sugarcane is out of order. If you want to promote our industries, we are not going to allow it. Give us time to make the intervention with the millers and then we come back to you but we are not going to export raw sugar at all,” Minister Kyambadde
Legislators from Busoga sub-region said that the move to ban sugarcane exportation is going to keep their people in poverty because their income is affected.
“Will not allow the farmers to export their sugarcanes is a very unfair decision. If you say there’s a policy in place that prohibits against the export of raw materials like sugarcanes when another raw product is being exported, I think there could be more to it,” John Baptist,
Nabeshe Maniya County MP said.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah however, issued an ultimatum of two weeks to the government to get ready as the debate on the controversial sugar bill 2017 resumes.
A number of farmers are stuck with trucks of sugarcane at the major factories for over 10 days now. And one of the sugarcane growers said they have incurred losses.
“A loss of more than Shs12bn. So that’s a loss! we cannot just keep quiet as sugarcane farmers,” one of the sugarcane growers’ said.