By Samuel Sanya
MUKWANO Group of Companies known for manufacturing vegetable oil, plastics and household detergents, is one of eight companies approved to manufacture sugar as the country moves to stabilise sugar prices, the trade ministry has said.
In August, the Government waived the 25% import duty on 40,000 metric tonnes of sugar that was being brought into the country as production deficits were projected to hit 26,851 metric tonnes this year.
“So far, 25,000 tonnes have been imported under the tax-free scheme. We are monitoring the importing firms to ensure that they do not re-export it. We have licensed more firms to ensure that within a year, sugar will be readily available on the market,” said trade minister Amelia Kyambadde.
She was addressing the trade ministry monthly press briefing.
Kyambadde revealed that Mukwano was to set up a sugar factory in Masindi, with an initial capacity of 2,500 tonnes of sugarcanes per day.
Others licensed include Tirupati Development in Nakasongola, Uganda Crop Industries in Buikwe, Kafu Sugar in Masindi, Kamuli Sugar in Kamuli, Sugar Allied Industries in Kaliro, Kenlon in Namasagali and Bugiri Sugar Company in Bugiri.
This will bring to 15 the number of licensed sugar factories in the country.
Retail sugar has stagnated at sh5,500 per kilogramme, up from an average of sh2,800 at the beginning of the year.
The development is largely expected to benefit sugarcane outgrowers and sugar consumers in the long run.
Silver Ojakol, the commissioner for external trade in the trade ministry, said the National Sugar Policy would ensure that sugarcane outgrowers receive fair payments.
“When the domestic prices of sugar go up, provisions have been made in the policy to ensure that the farmer, sugar millers and consumer are protected,” he said.