Luuka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government of Uganda has finalized plans to construct a 135 billion Shillings sugar processing factory in Luuka district.
Uganda Development Cooperation-UDC will supervise the implementation of the construction works through direct financing from the Ministry of Finance.
The plant whose construction works are expected to be commissioned mid next year will be in fulfillment of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s campaign pledge to construct two farmer owned sugar processing plants in Busoga aimed at reducing the challenge of excess sugarcane within Busoga sub region.
Speaking to political leaders and farmers at the Jinja based Civil service college on Saturday, National Planning Authority-NPA executive director Joseph Muvawala said that feasibility studies were conducted to ascertain the direct profitability of a farmer owned sugarcane processing plant over those manned by private individuals.
Muvawala says that, unlike the private sugarcane plants which own plantations and prioritize their own cane over other players within the industry, the government constructed plant will only manage nucleus research farms and purchase all their sugarcane in raw material format directly from farmers.
He said both structural designs and the land where the plant is meant to be constructed are already available, only awaiting government financing. Muvawala further argues that several licenses were issued out to private developers who had presented plans of investing in the sugar industry, however to date, their plants are yet to be constructed which has left farmers to grapple with the challenge of excess cane.
The first deputy prime minister Rebecca Kadaga says that government should also construct incubator projects in the 11 districts of Busoga aimed at fostering the processing of surplus cane into smaller products like juice, paper bags, syrups, among other items.
The finance minister Matia Kasaija tasked leaders within Busoga sub region to embrace the project and avoid grappling amongst themselves arguing that, such tendencies will threaten to slow down construction works.
Busoga is home to five major sugarcane processing plants namely; Kakira sugar works, Mayuge sugar industries limited, Bugiri sugar, Kaliro sugar and Kamuli sugar, among other four minimum capacity sugarcane processing plants, however, farmers still grapple with the challenge of excess cane.