The president asked MPs to include zoning in the sugar bill, which is meant to ensure that there is a sustainable, diversified, harmonized, modern and competitive sugar sector to meet domestic, regional and International requirements.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has
faulted the Trade Committee of parliament for rushing the Sugar Bill 2016 and
overstepping their mandate.
Kadaga, who has been away for close to a month because of ill health
expressed her concern in a meeting with Busoga
Kingdom officials led by the Prime Minister, Joseph Muvawala over the Sugar Bill
kingdom officials petitioned the speaker on the proposed zoning of cane out
The Committee introduced zoning in the Sugar Bill 2016, which was
returned by President; Yoweri Museveni on grounds that absence of zoning is
killing the sugar industry.
The president asked MPs to include zoning in
the sugar bill, which is meant to ensure that there is a sustainable,
diversified, harmonized, modern and competitive sugar sector to meet domestic,
regional and International requirements.
During the meeting, Muvawala demanded a review
of the provision on zoning, saying it has started affecting sugar cane out
He explained that the proposal to compensate some
factories and close them was made in bad faith as Government doesn’t cater for
the value chain of the sugar production.
According to Muvawala, the sugar canes out
growers are currently being exploited and that is what could happen with
zoning. He asked the Speaker not to allow such a proposal to go through.
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On her part, Kadaga faulted the committee for doing a poor
job in regards to reviewing the returned bill by the president.
to Kadaga, the committee should have looked at only the issue of zoning and
other items forwarded by the president, but they ended up including issues like
compensation for cane millers among others.
She also faulted the committee for rushing the bill without
provide adequate time and scrutinizing the proposal.
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The committee recommends that a 25 Kilometer radius be
provided in the sugar bill as minimum distance between millers and that the
factories that fall within the radius be relocated at a cost met by government
that issued the license.
They also recommends that all new licenses issued after 2004
should all be recalled and that the ministry prior to licensing should ensure
all applicants fulfill the conditions of minimum nuclear estate of 2,000
hectares, 25km zoning requirement and protecting out grower's food crop land.
The committee also recommended that government takes
deliberate steps to support out-grower farmers to form cooperatives to protect
them from bad commercial practices of unscrupulous sugar mills. Initially, sugar companies funded an out-grower
system where a company gives an out-grower seeds and fertilizers in return of
This led to the domination of sugar territories by the big
companies, while the small and new companies struggled to get supply leading to
a number of challenges that include sugar cane poaching and price differences
between the players.