KASSANDA — Construction works for a new sugar plant worth $40m (UGX. 148b) has commenced in Kassanda District. Both the estate and the factory are valued at $20m each thus bringing the total investment of factory plus land capital and development to $40m.
The Mega factory – Kassanda Sugar Plant – which is owned by businessman Abid Alam, becomes the first in the district and it will be fitted with a cane-crushing capacity of 1650 metric tonnes per day.
The anticipated sugar facility to be launched by President Yoweri Museveni before 2021 is expected to employ close to 1,000 people directly and pays an annual tax of over UGX10 billion-making the businessman one of the leading taxpayers in the country.
Full commercial operations are set to start during the 2021 crop year, the company said adding that its raw material will be sugarcane from its 10,000-acre estate while rest will be produced by out-growers in the district.
The new factory is expected to have a direct impact on the lives of over 3,000 district’s inhabitants.
Officials mentioned the initial benefits of job creation, drinking water supply, construction of classrooms and training of young people, as well as training activities directly related to the planting and treatment of sugarcane.
Kassanda sugar plant is also expected to serve the immediate environment before extending services further. It’s believed that the demand and supply gap of sugar in East Africa prompted the businessman to open another sugar plant, having started Kaliro Sugar Works in 2013.
Sugarcane growing in the district is expected to boost household incomes with the vast, fertile land available for cultivation.
As agriculture is the country’s economic backbone, many citizens are focusing on the economic activity to bolster the sector as well as economic status. President Museveni has since urged locals to imbibe commercial farming for better results.
Uganda has a sugar surplus of 36,000 metric tonnes as established by the Government of Kenya. Both countries have enjoyed cordial relations over the years but sugar imports – export saga has caused a rift between them. Kenyan traders turned to Uganda when the price of the commodity locally was high and opt to import from their neighbour.
Kenya imported close to 76,969 tonnes of sugar from Uganda from January to July 2019.
The country produces 600,000 tonnes annually which is below the 800,000 tonnes demanded by the market. The nation produces sugar at $454 a tonne, making the commodity the most expensive in the region.
Uganda was considering a ban on sugar exports to Kenya.