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Sugar Cane Farmers Reject The New Price

MASINDI - Byaruhanga Cosmas, the out-going chairperson for Masindi Sugar Cane Out-growers Association Limited (MASGAL); also, the Masindi District Chairperson has said that sugar cane farmers are in disagreement with new price announced at the beginning of the new financial year.

The management of Kinyara Sugar Limited announced the new prices for sugarcane for the 2021/2022 financial year.

In a press release dated July 1st 2021 that was sent to the media, the sugar company announced Shs 88,400 as the price of a ton that would be supplied starting 1st  July 2021 and would be payable at 100 percent.

The press release indicated that the new price was reached as per the recently agreed upon sugarcane price formula.

The company management also pledged to continue devising what it called sustainable means to improve sugarcane yields which it termed as a fundamental ingredient to the overall success of the sugarcane value chain.

The new price indicates a reduction from last financial year's price of Shs 91,586 per ton.

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Addressing members of Bwijanga Coffee Farmers Cooperative on Wednesday in Kikingura village Bwijanga Sub County, Byaruhanga noted that they're in total disagreement with the new price. Sugar cane farmers are not going to benefit anything.

"We are not going to accept this. This is total exploitation of farmers. As leaders, we are going to do the necessary to ensure that farmers benefit from sugar cane and to ensure that a favorable price is put in place.

He added that there's no convincing reason which was given to farmers as to why the price was reduced.

"I have already written to the Chief Coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Gen, Salim Saleh, Kinyara Sugar Limited and other relevant offices notifying them on how we are not convinced by the new price. We want this price revised. We were not party in the negotiations, whom did they consult?" he asked.

Sugar cane is one of the most grown cash crops in Masindi and according to Byaruhanga, the economy of Masindi is controlled by sugar cane business.

"What surprises me is in the last financial year they did the same. No consultation was made. Again, the same thing has been repeated. We are not going to keep quiet. I am going to work with the new board to ensure that we get a better price," he explained.

Kiiza Kenneth Nyendwoha, the Bujenje Constituency Member of Parliament told theCooperator that the sugar cane price is supposed to be determined by the farmers bodies and the Miller.

"I am also wondering how Kinyara determined this new price without the participation of the bodies supposed to do so. As leaders in the district, we are going to stand with the people to ensure that they get a good price. As area members of parliament, we have engaged Nabbanja Robinah, the Prime Minister of Ugandan about this matter. If us the local leaders cannot be listened to, let's engage the national leaders maybe they'll be listened to," Nyendwoha said.

Most of the farmers who theCooperator spoke to said that the new price which has been offered is too little compared to what they inject in. They appealed to the association leaders and the local politicians.

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