Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Agricultural Advisory services- NAADs has embarked on a two-weeks verification of the Atiak Sugar Project beneficiaries’ exercise. The exercise targeting about 2,500 farmers from Amuru, Lamwo, Gulu and Adjumani districts under Gem Pacilo cooperative Society started today and is expected to end by Friday this week.
In October 2019, NAADS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the two-sugar cane out-growers’ cooperatives to increase sugar cane production covering a total of 13,841 acres which were to be distributed to the out-growers. With a target acreage of over 20,000 acres for the production of sugar cane, currently, the out-growers in the participating districts have been allocated land as follows; Amuru 10,841 acres; Gulu 1,200 acres; Adjumani 800 acres; Lamwo 1,000 acres.
Emmanuel Ogik, the representative of land owners for sugar plantation under Gem Pacilo cooperative society confirms the development, saying the verification exercise has started with members from Abalokodi, Atiak, Kal, Pacilo among others before its conducted in other districts next week.
The verification seeks to identify the legitimate beneficiaries from whose gardens cane seed worth over 300 million shillings was cut by Atiak Sugar Factory with approval of NAADs during the 2019 first planting season.
Anthony Akol, Kilak North MP says the verification exercise is long overdue, as the delay has affected the livelihoods of the farmers whose cane seeds were cut. He says the verification is a huge step towards the payment of the farmers who are supplying the sugar factory with sugar cane.
Atiak Sugar Factory Limited which was established in 2016 is located in Gem Village, Atiak Sub-County, Amuru district. The sugar factory is a subsidiary company of Horyal Investment Holdings Company Limited and co-owned by the Government of Uganda.
The sugar project aims at benefiting 1,946 members of Atiak Sugar Plantation Out-Growers’ Society Ltd and 2,500 members for Gem Pachilo Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Amuru, Gulu, Lamwo and Adjumani districts.