Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has warned farmers in the Busoga sub-region of a looming drop in the sugarcane prices which will consequently affect farmers profits.
According to Museveni, government has nothing much to do about the falling cane prices dictated by forces beyond their control.
“If you are to earn a lot from sugarcane growing, one should have farmland of six acres or more. Just having one or two acres of land isn’t sufficient and such farmers should do other things instead of sugarcane growing,” he says.
He observes that growing sugarcane on an acre will cost a farmer almost one million Shillings in farm inputs while generating about two million Shillings after 18 months which isn’t financially viable at all.
Museveni made the remarks during a press conference at the State Lodge in Jinja district. This was during the start of his wealth creation tour of Busoga sub-region.
He adds that “It is, therefore, reasonable enough that those with one or two acres engage in small land consuming projects like poultry, and leave large scale farmers to engage in growing cane with all its’ risks because they can easily maximize profits,” he says.
Museveni further reveals that, he advised Mayur Madhvani of Kakira Sugar Works Ltd to grow more of his own sugarcane and stop reliance on out growers arguing that, this is another way of forcing small landowners to opt for other crops which would ensure food security and wealth creation in the sub-region, other than sugarcane where most of them have remained poor.
Meanwhile, Issa Budhugo, the chairperson of Busoga Sugarcane Out-growers association discloses that the members had entered into an agreement with foreign dealers aimed at supplying their cane to West Kenya Sugar Company limited and won’t be affected by the low prices.
“We have lobbied a market from West Kenya Sugar Company, and I highly anticipate that, as the sugarcane prices go down in the country, our deal with the Kenyans may be a good fall-back position after all,” he says.