Uganda is expected to export at least 20,000 metric tonnes of sugar to neighbouring Tanzania after the Sugar Act was finally signed into law.
President Museveni had declined to assent to the Sugar Act for over a year saying it was destroying the country’s sugar industry in favour small parasite new comers and undermine the big historical actors like Kakira, Kinyara and Lugazi.
He however agreed to do so and on April,24, he assented to the act.
The act lifted the zoning policy to create an open market for sugarcane growers to sell their cane to willing buyers anywhere in the country.
The zoning policy barred sugarcane growing or sale beyond 25km radius of a sugar mill.
According a statement from State House, assenting to the act came at a time as Uganda makes its final deliberations in trading off its surplus sugar to Tanzania.
“The sugar industry of Uganda will be exporting 20,000 metric tonnes of brown sugar to the United Republic of Tanzania by the end of May, 2020. This is the first consignment which has opened up market opportunities for the Ugandan sugar millers who have surplus production,” the statement.
State House also revealed that the president met with representatives from Tanzania led by the Managing Director of Kagera Sugar Limited, Seif Ally Seif and was also attended by Uganda’s Trade Minister, Amelia Kyambadde.
Museveni in the meeting said that because Ugandans have embraced commercial agriculture, the country was able to have surplus sugar.
“Everything here can grow easily except that we have been lagging behind because of politics of identity and primitive farming methods based on a subsistence way of life. Ugandans are now waking up and we are able to have surplus,” Museveni said during the meeting.
Minister Kyambadde described it as a relief for Ugandan millers who have been trying to penetrate the Tanzanian market for a long time.
She said subsequent exports will be made in the due course.
The latest development comes as a sigh of relief for Ugandan sugar millers after the Tanzanian government for over a year refused to allow sugar from Uganda into their market.