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Agriculture Uganda

Uganda to commission $6 million sugar factory in December

Uganda is set to commission another sugar plant to serve the growing demand for sugar in the market. The East African nation is the largest producer of brown sugar in the regional economy and has surpassed Kenya’s production for sugar. With an increase in the country’s sugar production, the Government is improving its infrastructure for better results.

The anticipated facility to be launched before the end of the year in December is a property to a businessman, John Fitzergerald Magara. The facility will be the 13th in Uganda fitted with a cane-crushing capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes daily The factory located in Hoima District will serve the immediate environment before extending services further. It is financed by two steams of funds including equity and loans, as per the entrepreneur.

The district is also the home to Hoima Sugar limited, which produced 1,500 metric tonnes per day. The manufacturing firm may not face sharp competition from the newest rival yet the presence of the new firm will give them a run. Hoima Sugar’s total investment is worth $42 million and has offered thousands of employment opportunities to the residents.

The discovery of oil in the location in the year 2006 would have transformed the region’s economic status but investors plot over sugar farming than investing in the lucrative sector of oil and gas industry, despite having handful returns on investments. The fertile land has spurred more thoughts on agricultural farming. The full potential of the region remains untapped.

Hoima Sugar General manager Jayrama Ravi stated in an interview last year said that the demand and supply gap of sugar in East Africa prompted them to settle for sugar production in the region. Despite poor infrastructure in the area, the availability of labour workforce and popularity of sugarcane farming boosted their idea.

Sugarcane growing has boosted household incomes with the vast, fertile land available for cultivation. As agriculture is the country’s economic backbone, many citizens are focusing on the economic activity to bolster the sector as well as economic status. President Yoweri Museveni urged them to imbibe commercial farming for better results.

Uganda has a sugar surplus of 36,000 metric tonnes as established by the Government of Kenya. Both countries have enjoyed cordial relations over the years but sugar imports – exports saga has caused a rift between them. Kenyan traders turned to Uganda when the price of the commodity locally was high and opt to import from their neighbour.

Kenya imported close to 26,969 tonnes of sugar from Uganda from January to July 2018. The country produces 600,000 tonnes annually which is below the 800,000 tonnes demanded by the market. The nation produces sugar at $454 a tonne, making the commodity the most expensive in the region. Uganda was considering a ban on sugar exports to Kenya.

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