Kampala – Members of Parliament and officials from the Busoga Kingdom have expressed differing sentiments on the return of Sugar Bill (2016) to the House for reconsideration and provide zoning of sugarcane growing and production.
Parliament passed the Sugar Bill (2016) in November 2018. The Bill sought to provide for the development, regulation and promotion of the sugar industry to ensure that there is sustainable, diversified, harmonized, modern and competitive sugar sector.
However, President Museveni refused to assent to the bill saying that the lack of zoning is killing the sugar industry in Uganda. He argued that the small new companies undermine the big historical players like Kakira, Lugazi and Kinyara Sugar companies.
As the bill returned to the house on Tuesday, March 17, a section of MPs from Busoga sided with Busoga Kingdom, protesting the proposal to re-introduce zoning of sugar millers while other legislators are in for zoning.
Those against zoning argue that if adopted, it would lead to disastrous consequences in the industry and the community since sugarcane is the only cash crop still grown, having dropped cotton and coffee, especially in Busoga.
“In Busoga, we only have sugar cane as our source of income. The issue of zoning will be a recipe for more economic chaos and poverty that will affect millions of people and the generations to come,’’ a kingdom official said.
Busoga Kingdom last year petitioned Parliament protesting the proposal to re-introduce zoning of sugar millers.
MPs supporting the bill with zoning assert that the bill which also establishes the Uganda Sugar Board comprising of Government representation, Ministry of Finance, Sugar cane out-growers and Millers argue that zoning will help in the regulation and