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Busoga Farmers to Export Sugarcane to Kenya

Sugarcane farmers under Busoga Sugarcane Out Growers Association have entered a Memorandum of Understanding-MOU with the Busia based West Kenya Sugar Company limited–Olepito unit to buy their cane.  

Issa Budhugo, the chairperson of Busoga Sugarcane Out Growers Association and Timothy Mugote of M/s Okoth Osilo and company advocates signed the MOU on behalf of the farmers where as West Kenya limited was represented by their General Manager, Gerald Okoth and the factory’s head of agriculture unit, Titus Omondi.

Under the MoU, the farmers are required to supply 600 tons of mature sugarcane to the company each day for a period of three months. They will receive Kenya Shillings 4,055 (approximately UGX 146,716) for a ton of cane, two days after delivery. Only farmers registered with the association will be allowed to supply cane upon endorsement by their chairperson.

The MOU further prohibits farmers from selling their sugarcane to another factory within Kenya before the expiry of the three month’s period agreed upon by the signatories. 

Budhugo told journalists at their association offices in Jinja town on Sunday that the millers have been training the farmers for the past two years on basic agronomic practices, which have attracted more farmers into cane farming. 

He explains that this lead to excess cane production, which couldn’t be consumed by local sugar plants prompting them to look for alternative market in Kenya. 

Hamis Mukama, the coordinator of sugarcane out growers who is attached to Mayuge sugar, says they are waiting for clearance from Uganda Revenue Authority to start the cane export.

“We are done with the necessary paper work. All that is left is clearance from the customs office to enable us export sugarcane to Kenya without any hurdles,” he said.   It is not clear whether government will clear the deal.

Recently, the Minister of Trade and Industries, Amelia Kyambadde told parliament that government was opposed to the export of raw materials from the country.  

She advised parliament against allowing farmers to export their sugarcane abroad, arguing that it is costly in terms of transport and they risk making losses.