By Our reporter
KIKUUBE: A bitter disagreement has erupted between Hoima sugar LTD in Kikuube district and Kyenjojo sugar factory in Kyenjojo over poaching of farmers’ sugarcane.
Hoima sugar management accuses the management of Kyenjojo sugar factory of illegally buying sugarcane from its farmers.
However, the management of Kyenjojo sugar factory denies the allegations saying the farmers always approach and request them to buy their sugarcane.
But Francis Isingoma, the chairperson Hoima Sugarcane Out growers Association says farmers have opted to selling their cane to other millers including Kyenjojo sugar factory because of the failure by Hoima Sugar Limited to address their concerns for long.
Isingoma cites delayed payment for the sugarcane, low prices, delayed harvest and refusal by Hoima Sugar LTD to buy burnt sugarcane as some of the reasons forcing farmers to sell their cane to other millers.
He notes that Hoima sugar is currently buying a ton of sugarcane at Sh90, 000 while Kyenjojo sugar factory is buying it at Sh120, 000.
Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner acknowledges the row between the two companies over can poaching saying the fight is becoming a security threat in the district.
He adds that his office has so far handled three cases where Hoima sugar LTD is involved in the fight with the farmers after allegedly finding them selling sugarcane to Kyenjojo sugar factory.
He however observes the need for the two companies to discuss and harmonize their grievances to avoid future conflicts that may result to violence.
Complaints of delayed cane harvest and low payment by Sugar millers are common in Bunyoro region where Masindi Sugarcane Growers Limited in Masindi district have for long been crying of the same.