Cooperatives & Communities

Farmers gain as Kinyara Sugar Works raises price for cane second time

MASINDI-Sugar manufacturer, Kinyara Sugar Works Limited, has again increased the price it offers to cane farmers, saying it will now buy at Shs 128, 000  from Shs 101,000 it has been paying per tonne supplied since the new financial year began.

The latest price increment for the cane is the second time Kinyara management has done so in the current financial year that began on July 1, 2022.

At the beginning of the financial year, the company increased the price offered to cane farmers to Shs 101, 000 per ton from Shs 88,400, translating to a 14.25 percent increase.

On Monday, during a joint press conference organised by Masindi Sugarcane Outgrowers Association Limited [MASGAL] the sugar company at Masindi hotel, Robert Atugonza the chairperson MASGAL said the two sides came up with the final price per ton of cane after having several protracted meetings.

“The management of Kinyara Sugar Limited and the board of directors Masindi Sugarcane Outgrowers Association Limited sat and agreed that Shs 27,000. All the farmers who supplied sugarcane between July 1 and September 19, 2022, are going to get paid. This increment is not final, we shall continue engaging Kinyara Sugar management,” Atuginza said.

When asked why they pushed for an increase in the price of cane per ton, Atugonza said this was a response to the recent increase in sugar prices and also the low production of sugarcane in the country.

“Sugarcane is now on demand across the country and the sugar prices have increased. We found it necessary to agitate for an increment,” he added.

Atugonza asked the farmers not to get excited over the latest price increment for cane supplied,  noting that they should guard their cane against thieves who have become rampant in Masindi district.

“We need to look after our plantations by improving on agronomic practices. We need to weed our cane and apply fertilisers because sugarcane is now becoming a green gold,” he advised.

Patrick Byamukama, the secretary MASGAL said the increment is in the best interest of the farmers, adding that farmers will now be able to improve their yields.

“The average sugar price is increasing every day. We are sure that by April next year,  it’s going to be higher. We are not using the scarcity of sugarcane to squeeze the miller [Kinyara Sugar Works Limited] but we are following the prevailing sugar situation in the country,” he said.

Masilamani Mathivanani, the agriculture manager Kinyara Sugar Works Limited, said that the company is preparing to pay Shs 11 billion demanded as arrears to the farmers.

“I am optimistic that by November we shall have cleared the arrears. I ask the farmers to use the money to buy fertilisers to improve their cane yields,” he said.

He further explained that at the beginning of the financial year, the price of a 50-kilogramme bag of sugar was being sold at the factory price of Shs 130,000.  Apparently, he said, it goes for Shs 200,000.

Mathivanani further said that they have lost over  1000 hectares of registered cane to other millers, claiming it is being done by brokers who offer farmers better pay.

Atugonza asked the farmers not to sell their cane to other millers, saying the price offered by Kinyara Sugar Works Limited will continue to be increased.

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