Uganda: Bugiri Counts On Sugar Factory to Close Unemployment Gap

By Ronald Seebe

At least 10,000 residents of Bugiri District stand to be employed, both directly and indirectly by Bugiri

Sugar Factory within the first year of operation, authorities have revealed.

The construction of the factory comes after Bugiri District Local Government secured 60 acres of land in Bugubo Village, Kapyanga Sub-county.

Mr Yash Patel, the managing director, earlier said construction is expected to end in December, adding that

they would crush 3,500 tonnes of canes per day and produce 4,800 bags of sugar daily.

Mr Rogers Bagaga, the Kapyanga Subcounty vice chairperson, at the weekend said the factory has come with a number of benefits.

"The factory hasn't yet started crushing cane but a number of youth in Bugiri and immediate surroundingdistricts are already being employed. This is an initiative which is going to off er employment to our idle youth," he said.

Mr Anthony Nsenko, the Bugiri deputy Resident District Commissioner, said besides fishing and boda boda business, Bugiri has been lacking an industry to off er an alternative source of employment.

"...Out of 10 youth, only three are employed. I am happy that the number of youth who have been fl ocking to my office for jobs is going to be absorbed by the factory," Mr Nsenko said.

Mr Musa Mutamba, the district speaker, said 10,000 jobs can change the revenue base of the district.

Mr Mutamba said the district has enough land to accommodate more industries, and urged government and private investors to make investments.

Conditions

Mr Patel said the registration of farmers is free-of-charge, but it will only be for those with more than 10 acres of land.

He added that permits will also only be issued to registered farmers, and they are looking forward to dealing directly with farmers.

Mr Baka Mugabi, the Bukooli North Member of Parliament-elect, said: "We don't want to hear anything to do with middlemen when it comes to getting permits; eliminate them and deal directly with farmers."

So far, about 1,000 farmers have been registered of the 4,000 that are needed to grow cane on 18,000 acres of land.

Mr Richard Owere, a farmer, said the number should be increased because there are many cane farmers in Bugiri and Namayingo districts. Farmers are also optimistic about the ready market.

"We have been taking our canes to Mayuge and Kakira for sale, during which truck drivers charge us exorbitantly for transport," Mr Owere said.

Ms Evelyn Anite, the State Minister for Finance, Investment and Privatisation, earlier said besides production of domestic sugar, industrial sugar used for making syrups for children, soda and spirits for medical use will be produced

at the factory.

Mr Morrison Rwakakamba, the incoming chairperson of Uganda Investment Authority, said the Authority is committed to quality production.

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