Atiak Sugar Factory Limited in Amuru District is set to begin production next month. The factory in Gem Village, Atiak Sub-County has the capacity to crush 1,650 tonnes of raw cane daily, producing 66 million kilogrammes of powder sugar annually.
Daniel Fred Kidega, the Board Chairperson of the Industry says that the factory which was set up in 2016 is ready for production pending calibration by the International Organization for Standardization – experts to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.
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Kidega told URN that already 3,000 acres of sugar cane belonging to Gem Pachilo and Atiak Outgrowers Cooperative Societies are ready for supply to the factory to being its maiden production.
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Kidega added that the factory has already established a co-generation of six megawatts of electricity off the national grid which is supplied through biogas generated from the bi-products of the cane.
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Santa Joyce Laker, the Chairperson of Atiak Outgrowers Cooperative Society said the completion of the factory gives a sigh of relief to the sugar project beneficiaries who had lost patience due to delays in the establishment of the industry.
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Dr Samuel Mugasi, the Director of the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) through which the government-funded the Atiak Sugar Factory said the industry is a generational investment that will benefit over 3,500 sugarcane growers from Amuru, Gulu, Adjumani and Lamwo Districts.
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According to Dr Mugasi, NAADS, with the government of Uganda, has contributed to the funding of Atiak Sugar Factory, which is the country’s fifth-largest sugar manufacturers after Kakira Sugar Works Limited, Kinyara Sugar Works Limited, Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited and Sugar-SCOUL and Allied Industries Limited, an initiative expected to bring down prices of sugar in the country and create massive employment.
In May 2018, the government, through the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), took a 10.1 per cent ownership in Atiak Sugar Factory, for an investment of 20 billion Shillings. The same year UDC invested another 45 billion Shillings, accordingly raising its stake in the factory to 32 per cent.
In April 2019, the company requested another 24 billion Shillings, in funding to complete the construction of offices and staff houses, bringing the government’s shareholding to 44 per cent.