By Vision reporter
The sugar industry awaits the enactment of a new sugar policy into law.
Until the end of last year, the major players in the industry were pushing Parliament under their umbrella body, the Uganda Sugar Manufacturer’s Association, to enact the policy into an Act.
But at the heart of the new National Sugar Policy is among others the clamour for one of the most lucrative industries in the economy. There are about eight new firms with investment licenses into the sugar industry.
Another about six already established firms are operating and producing about 350,000 metric tonnes per annum. This will usher a new regime of competition.
The national sugar policy was formulated in 2010 to address the gaps that exist in the 1938 Sugar Control Act. Among other things, the policy says there should be a 35km radius between two factories.
The other concern is the poaching of staff. Disputes have in recent years emerged, including court petitions, over the limit of radius of operation.
But court and the Government agencies have in the past explained that the spirit of the legislation is to enable competition and not a monopoly.
For sustainability, the industry should also focus on subsidising and producing fertilisers and electricity, although most of the sugar processing firms are already doing it.