Government Lifts Ban On Sugarcane Export To Kenya

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President
Yoweri Museveni has said that the Government of Uganda has lifted the ban on
the export of raw sugarcane to Kenya for a period of only three months
effective next week. The move, he said, aims at allowing Ugandan farmers sell
the surplus sugarcane that is not consumed locally.

“Mature
sugarcane that doesn’t have ready buyers from local millers, should be
exported,” he said.

The
decision to export sugarcane was reached at last evening during a meeting
chaired by President Museveni at State House, Entebbe that brought together
sugar millers and sugarcane farmers from Busoga Sub-Region.

Ugandan
farmers, for the last few months, have grown too much sugarcane resulting in a
surplus supply on the local market in Uganda. The decision to lift the ban will
see Uganda export raw sugarcane to allow Kenya-based factories that are
willing, to buy sugarcane from Uganda.

The
meeting emphasized and agreed that only mature sugarcane should be exported
adding that an Agricultural Officer should determine sugarcane maturity and its
fitness for export.

The
meeting also resolved that if a farmer had credit with a miller, the miller is
obliged to buy all the mature sugarcane within the agreed contract period. If
not, the miller should compensate the farmer for the loss.

President
Museveni directed that all bond warehouses should be banned with immediate
effect in order to harmonize the price of sugar and root for the expansion and
growth of the sugar industry.

The
President also asked sugar millers and farmers to work together adding that the
two players need each other in order to ensure the survival of the sugar
industry.

He, however, cautioned sugarcane farmers about the low returns from sugarcane production saying that the venture will not get them out of poverty mostly those who have small pieces of land.

He, therefore, called on them to diversify their production ventures and concentrate more on crops like coffee, poultry, piggery and fish farming, among other enterprises that can yield good income for their homesteads.

Trade,
Industry and Cooperatives Minister, Hon, Amelia Kyambadde, said her Ministry
will allow Uganda sugarcane farmers to export excess sugarcane to Kenya for
only 3 months.

She
revealed that her Ministry is doing all that is possible to secure licences for
farmers to sell their raw sugarcane to avert incurring losses.

She strongly advised sugarcane farmers to form a consortium in transportation of their sugarcane to ensure realization of tangible benefits.

President Museveni and his counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, met on the sidelines of the 8th TICAD Conference in Japan last month and discussed issues related to the sugar business in their neighbouring countries.

They agreed to fast track the process of enabling traders in Uganda and Kenya to access each other’s markets with ease.



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