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Luwero factory now buys sugarcane from Bunyoro farmers

MASINDI, April 30, 2024 – Bunyoro Sugarcane Cooperative Union Limited [BSCUL] in Masindi district, and Victoria Sugar Limited in Luwero district, recently entered into a memorandum of understanding [MoU], enabling one of the newest sugar manufacturers in the country to buy unregistered cane from the farmers affiliated to the union.

Speaking to theCooperator recently, Muhamudu Kazimbaraine, the Chairperson BSCUL explained that they signed the MoU at the end of last year, adding that non-aided farmers in the area have been able to get market for their cane at a fair price.

“We formed this Union [BSCUL] in 2022, to have a strong voice and better prices for our sugarcane. We got our weighbridge whereby farmers come and measure the weight of their cane and are paid instantly,” noted Kazimbaraine.

He added BSCUL has two weighbridges for sugarcane one in Masindi town and another in Rukondwa village Bikonzi Sub-county.

However, Kazimbaraine dismissed local media reports that the establishment of the weighbridges has escalated cane poaching, noting that the Union deals with farmers who are not contracted by any sugar company, stating that before BSCUL and other millers came in, there was a lot of overgrown cane which is not the case now.


Muhamudu Kazimbaraine, Chairperson Bunyoro Sugarcane Cooperative Union (Photo by Yosam Gucwaki).

“Farmers come to us because we are transparent and we also pay cash on delivery. It’s the farmers who bring their own cane here which they grow without any external support. Apparently, we are dealing with Victoria Sugar Limited which is offering the farmers better pay. There is no any sugarcane poaching some media reports are saying. Whoever is peddling that lie in the press is just dreaming,” noted Kazimbaraine.

He further called upon farmers who are not affiliated to any sugar miller to join BSCUL so that they get better market for their sugarcane.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Ismail Nashif, the Operations Manager Victoria Sugar limited, said BUSCUL approached them to buy the farmers’ sugarcane at Shs 165, 000 per tonne. The partnership is moving on well and the farmers have embraced us. “Apparently we are paying Shs 165, 000 per tonne,” he explained, urging government to allow farmers to sell their cane to whoever offers better prices since Uganda is a liberalised economy.

Edition Mugisha, the sugar company’s Out-growers’ Manager Bunyoro region told theCooperator that they are opening up cane plantations in Masindi, stating that over 4000 acres of land from over 300 farmers have been opened up.

Edition Mugisha (Photo by Yosam Mugisha).

“There are things we follow while identifying farmers to work with and they include the LCI letter, the LCIII letter and also the land shouldn’t be incumbered. We don’t deal with farmers who have running contracts with other millers. The farmers are mobilised through BSCUL which is the umbrella organisation for the cane farmers in the region,” said Mugisha.

Several farmers in Bunyoro Sub-region have welcomed the partnership between the two entities, saying it offers a ready market for their sugarcane.

Bunyoro sub-region, one of Uganda’s leading sugarcane producers, has four sugar factories including Kinyara Sugar Works Limited, Hoima Sugar Factory, Kiryandongo Sugar Limited, and Bwendero Sugar Factory. However, the companies are involved in cane poaching wars.

Cane poaching is a practice where a sugar miller supports farmers in cultivating sugar cane and signs a contract with them, stipulating that they can only sell their cane to that specific miller.

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