Africa, Business, Busoga, Farmer, Food and Related Products, Government, Invesments, Kakira, Manufacturing, Sugar, Sugarcane, Uganda, Uncategorized

Sugar sector regulation in the offing

Reflex Eco Group – Uganda News

by Stephen Otage (Local Journalist)

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com

Government has started drafting the law to regulate Sugar business in the country following the confusion that has marred the industry in Busoga region which is currently in a mess.

Busoga region is currently the epi-center of a silent war between sugarcane growers and manufacturers where the big players in the sector Kakira, Kinyara and SCOUL are embroiled in a territorial fight with new sugar manufacturers where the new companies are being accused of poaching on sugar-cane from out-growers they are not supporting financially.

According to Deo Byaruhanga the Senior Industrial Officer Ministry of trade, the sugar policy which the industry players have been using, has failed to regulate the sector because most of the contracts that the estimated over 100,000 farmers have signed with the manufacturers are not enforceable under the policy and the entire document is weak in regulating the sector because of several loopholes.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Byaruhanga said there are many provisions within the policy which should be used for arbitrating disputes but they are not enforceable. “These are rules or guidelines which the industry players formed by themselves and agreed to abide by. But how do you sign a contract with a farmer who does not know how to read and write and you expect him to respect it,” he wondered.

According to press reports, President Museveni recently  wrote to Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Minister Amelia Kyambadde, demanding the closure of new sugar factories located within a radius of less than 25km from the existing ones as well as those that had disregarded their obligation to guarantee food security while carrying out their activities.

But Mr. Byaruhanga said this directive would be counterproductive because some of the factories acquired licences to operate before the policy was enforced. “Laws are not made in a retrospective manner. There is no way you can say that a factory which started operations legally before the implementation of the Policy should be shut down after the policy has been implemented,” he said.

Asked if the president’s directive was anything to go by, he said the President is the president and he can say anything anytime. Asked what level the new law has reached, he said consultations are currently going on before it can be sent to cabinet and eventually Parliament.

 

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