Kakira Doubles sugar production
Kakira Sugar Works has almost doubled output from 90,000 metric tones annually to 150,000 following an increase in procurement of cane from out growers.
The number of outgrowers rose from 3,000 to over 6,000 farmers, which in turn increased the acreage under sugarcane cultivation from 10,000ha to 17,500ha.
The development was announced yesterday when President Yoweri Museveni commissioned the factory extension and the company’s private electricity plant.
Managing director Mayur Madhvani said the sugar factory crushing capacity has moved to 6,000 tones of canes per day from 3,500, after a $52m investment.
Uganda consumes 240,000 tones of sugar per annum. Just 191,000 tones are produced, leaving a shortage of 49,000. Under the expansion program, Kakira will deliver 251,000 tones of sugar.
However, the amount is inadequate to meet both the local demand and export to Sudan and other neighboring countries.
Museveni also commissioned Kakira’s 20MW biogas electricity plant, which sells 12MW to the national grid.
He applauded the Madhvani Group for their commitment to investment and promised government support. “You deserve support from the Government. We shall give you all the support you want,” Museveni assured Mayur.
He warned detractors, whom he said mobilized the youth to campaign against certain manufacturers.
“These manufacturers are good for the poor people. It’s the poor who need jobs, who need free education for their children.
Therefore, anybody who interferes with investors is an enemy of the poor,” said Museveni.
He said he would also mobilize the youth “to eat alive those fighting the factories” just like he did during the war in Luweero which brought him to power in 1986.
The President pointed out that the factory’s sh42b annual tax contribution was enough to run the two districts of Wakiso and Mityana, to which the Government allocates sh32b and sh12b respectively.
In response to the request by Mayur for a higher price for Kakira electricity, Museveni said the Government would re-examine the current price of six US dollars per unit.
This is lower than the world price of eight cents for bio-fuel.
Museveni ordered the energy ministry to stop the penalty which Kakira must pay for interrupted power supply. “Pioneers need support, not discouragement. This business of a penalty should stop.”
Kakira Sugar Factory was set up in the early 1940s, but its operations were halted in the 1970s due to political instability. It re-opened in 1986.