By Priscillar Nyamahunge
The former minister for the Presidency, Kabakumba Labwoni Masiko has called upon leaders in Bunyoro sub region to mobilise cane farmers to start up cooperatives.
Representing the chief coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation Gen. Salim Saleh, Kabakumba made the call during a meeting with the Resident District Commissioners, District Internal Security Officers and NRM district chairpersons from Bunyoro sub-region at Kolping hotel in Masindi.
Currently the director of sugarcane value chain at OWC secretariat, Kabakumba said farmers need to work jointly if they are to achieve anything.
“Masindi has had challenges of one group after the other but I call upon you as leaders to mobilise the masses to organise themselves into cooperatives. The future belongs to the organised,” Kabakumba said.
Bunyoro has four sugar factories which include; Kinyara, Hoima, Kiryandongo, and Bwendero.
“Apart from Bwendero, all the others belong to one group, RAI,” Kabakumba said.
She also reechoed the presidential directive prohibiting people with less than two hectares from growing sugarcane.
Prof. Eria Hisali, the principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences at Makerere University, highlighted on some of the challenges being faced by the sugarcane sector.
Among them include; exploitation and manipulation of the farmers by the processors, low yields, and price volatility.
“The millers give credit facilities such as fertilizers at a high interest rate. Eventually, the farmers are tied down with the contract and have to sell to them after harvesting,” Hisali said.
Maj. Martha Asiimwe, the head of the RDC’s secretariat, said leaders need to use the available information provided in order to improve service delivery.
“We are here to equip and empower you to ensure that we create the linkages that have been missing. We want you to appreciate the resources that you have and ensure that you use them effectively for improved service delivery,” Maj.Asiimwe said.