By Our Reporter

MASINDI: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Saturday commissioned the refinery unit at Kinyara Sugar Limited in Bujenje Constituency Masindi district, described the establishment of Uganda’s first Sugar Industrial plant as a big step in the right direction.

While commissioning a US 15 million dollar Kinyara Industrial White Sugar Refinery plant, Museveni said Uganda has been losing US 50 million dollars through importing refined sugar that is used in factories for production of soft drinks and medicines among other uses.

Museveni said that he is optimistic that once production increases, Uganda’s refined sugar will have a ready market both locally and throughout East Africa whose demand for industrial sugar is 150,000 metric tons.

He also assured that he will negotiate with other East African countries to buy Uganda industrial sugar adding that Uganda Revenue Authority will start taxing industrial sugar imported from abroad so that the Uganda product can get the needed market.

The refinery, first of it’s kind in East Africa constructed by Kinyara Sugar Ltd will produce 60,000 metric tons of industrial white sugar annually, by consuming about 70,000 metric tons of mill brown sugar as raw material.

According to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Francis Mwebesa, the production is still below the local demand for industrial sugar which ranges from 78,000 metric tons to 90,000 metric tons annually.

President Museveni assured Ugandans of the market for their surplus sugar amounting to 220,000 metric tons out of the 600,000 metric tons produced annually yet local consumption remains at 380,000 metric tons.

“Our East African Community brothers can buy this sugar because the deficit they have is much bigger than this surplus, so I’m talking with Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania and now with Rwanda to solve this issue,” He said.

Minister Mwebesa said his Ministry has licensed six other companies to produce refined industrial sugar and are at different stages of implementation and they include Sugar Corporation of Uganda, GM Sugar Ltd, Mayuge Sugar Industries, Kamuli Sugar Ltd and Uganda Group of Industries Ltd.

He however decried the unpredictability of the National sugar policy of 2010 and the National Sugar Act of 2020 which he said don’t bring enforcement of zoning, leaving farmers unsupported.

“To address this, my Ministry is drafting legislations to deal with registration of sugarcane farmers and millers and this will ensure the sector is well regulated,” Minister Mwebesa said.

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