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Amuru Leaders Demand Verification of Atiak Sugar Project Beneficiaries

The sugar project targets to benefit 1,946 members of Atiak Sugar Plantation Out-growers’ Society Ltd and 2,500 members for Gem Pacilo Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Gulu and Amuru Districts.
22 Jul 2020 16:36
Women representing Atiak Sugar Works during 2019 Tarehe Sita celebrations in Kitgum district - Photo by Dominic Ochola.

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Amuru District leaders are demanding for an expedited verification of Atiak Sugar Project beneficiaries.

The sugar industry is a subsidiary company of Horyal Investment Holdings Company Limited and co-owned by the Government of Uganda. It was founded in 2016 to work with over 4,000 farmers under Gem Pachilo and Atiak out Growers Cooperative Societies.

The sugar project targets to benefit 1,946 members of Atiak Sugar Plantation Out-growers’ Society Ltd and 2,500 members for Gem Pachilo Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Amuru, Gulu, Lamwo and Adjumani districts.

Michael Lakony, the Amuru LCV Chairperson disclosed that the project beneficiaries that have been registered have not yet been verified, a situation that is creating doubts about the viability of the factory among grass root people.

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Anthony Akol, the Kilak North Member of Parliament expressed disappointment that three years since leaders mobilized the local people to embrace the sugar project, the beneficiaries still do not know their fate.

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Santa Jolly Laker, the Chairperson of Atiak Sugar Plantation Out-growers’ Society Ltd the validation of the farmers were delayed by the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) because they have not been communicating with them.

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Dr Samuel Mugasi, the NAADS Executive Director, the verification of out growers delayed after the respective cooperative societies never submitted the list of their members in time.

Dr Mugasi says that with the factory set to begin crushing of sugarcane in August, NAADS secretariat has resolved to conduct quarterly meetings with the farmers to address some of the matters affecting the project.

In October 2019, NAADS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the two sugar cane out-growers’ cooperatives to increase sugar cane production covering a total of 13,841 acres which were to be distributed to the out-growers.

With a target acreage of over 20,000 acres for the production of sugar cane, currently, the out-growers in the participating districts have been allocated land as follows; Amuru 10,841 acres; Gulu 1,200 acres; Adjumani 800 acres; Lamwo 1,000 acres.