Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020

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Poor roads, floods disrupt planting of sugarcane in Acholi

2 min read

 Over 10,000 Sugarcane growers in Amuru and Lamwo Districts have suspended planting of cane seedlings following persistent and excessive rains.

The seedlings were supposed to be planted by the farmers between April through to October.

However, since June to date, unprecedented rainfalls have caused overwhelming floods across the Acholi sub-region. 

Gem Pachilo has over 2,500 members; Atiak Out growers 4,592 and Ayuu Alali Cooperative Society have a membership of 3,000 people.

Since 2018, the National Agricultural Advisory Services has so far invested over 25 billion shillings for the opening of more than 28,000 acres for sugarcane plantation in Amuru and Lamwo districts but the floods have halted planting.

Santa Joyce Laker, the Chairperson of Atiak Out growers Cooperative Society Ltd reveals that they have suspended planting cane seedlings on over 2,000 acres of land after the downpour rendered their plantations remote.

Laker explains that Atiak out-growers, with a membership of 4,592 people has deferred planting of cane seedlings to next year and have resorted to improvising land in upper areas for the project to circumvent future floods.

Francis Ojwiya, who heads the Ayuu Alali Cooperative Society in Lamwo District, says 3,000 farmers under the cooperative shares the same spoils with their counterpart of Atiak because of the same landscape separated by only 36 kilometre distance.

According to Ojwiya, of the 15,000 acres designated for the sugarcane project, only 5,200 acres have been planted with seedlings while 98,000 acres have been rendered inaccessible by the truck transporting seedlings due to floodwater.

Dan Fred Kidega, the Board Chairperson of Atiak Sugar Industry said only 3,000 of the 30,000 acreages of sugarcane plantations in both Lamwo and Amuru were ready to supply raw materials to the sugar mill.  

Dr Amina Hersi Moghe, the Chief Executive Officer – CEO of the company disclosed that factory that commenced its maiden production in August is underperforming. The factory is supposed to crush 1,650 metric tonnes of cane daily but it was crushing only 800 metric tonnes.

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URN