Museveni urges sugar processors to broaden spectrum of sugarcane products

Kampala, (UG):- Players in the Sugar Industry of Uganda have been advised to broaden the spectrum of the products from sugar cane to enhance the country’s earnings and its competitiveness in the interior of Africa.

The advise was given by President Yoweri Museveni in a letter addressed, to Mr. Mayur Madhvani, the Joint Managing Director, Kakira Sugar Limited dated 3rd March 2024, while responding to his earlier letter regarding the Sugar Industry and the repair of Ripon Falls Hotel.

“Therefore, our competitiveness in the interior of the African Continent is on account of the geography of raw – sugar. Using that advantage, you should look at producing ethanol, electricity, molasses for animal feeds, and industrial sugar. I suspect that this broadening of the spectrum of the products would enhance our earning competitiveness in the interior of Africa,” the President wrote.

He added, “Would that alter the position of our competitiveness globally? Do the kibaro (Cura, Aimar, Otita)”. He said, “Stop involving our people blindly in unstudied schemes”.

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The President further wrote, “I long ago advised you to leave the people of the 4 acres or less out. Sugar cane is not good for them. They need intensive agriculture enterprises such as coffee, fruits, dairy, poultry etc. Sugar cane can only make money if it is done on a big scale”. He noted that, “regarding the sugar council both the processors and cane growers should be represented”. Adding it’s better for the sugar factories to grow their own cane”.

He said, “regarding the price of the cane you should all start with the international price of sugar per tonne. You should then work backwards and scientifically calculate the farm-gate price for the cane of the outgrowers. Confining yourselves to raw sugar, you need to be clear about Uganda’s disadvantage as a sugar-producing country. Given our altitude, our sugar yield per cane is 8% compared to 14.18% for Swaziland, 15% for Brazil, 12.16% for Sudan, etc.”

The letter was copied to the Vice President, Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture and Members of Parliament from Busoga, Bunyoro and Acholi Sub – regions.

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