Busoga Premier Wants Museveni to Prioritize stability of sugarcane prices

Busoga Premier Wants Museveni to Prioritize stability of sugarcane prices
Busoga premier Joseph Muvawaala. Photo/Courtesy


The Prime Minister of Busoga Kingdom, Joseph Muvawala, who also serves as the Executive Director of the National Planning Authority-NPA, has urged President Yoweri Museveni to take a personal role in ensuring the stability of sugarcane prices, thereby enabling farmers to realize meaningful profits.

Addressing the first Busoga Lukiiko meeting of 2024 at the Kingdom’s headquarters in Bugembe, Muvawala emphasized the need for President Museveni to engage directly with both millers and farmers to establish a fair pricing formula, especially during bumper harvest seasons.

Muvawala contends that sugarcane, being a crucial raw material for various products including sugar and ethanol, necessitates an equitable pricing framework aimed at securing substantial profits for farmers.

He criticized the current situation where millers hold unilateral power over pricing decisions, highlighting Busoga as the largest sugarcane-growing region in the country.

Dr Muvawala emphasized the importance of market competitiveness and fair pricing ratios to ensure farmers benefit adequately from their role as key suppliers to the millers.

Earlier this month, Trade Affairs State Minister David Bahati revealed in an interview with URN that the new Sugar Amendment Bill contains provisions aimed at developing a sugarcane pricing formula to guarantee decent incomes for farmers in line with their investments.

The bill, currently undergoing parliamentary review, sparked heated debates, particularly among MPs representing sugarcane-producing areas. Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa subsequently referred the matter to the trade committee for thorough assessment before its return to the house.

Bahati highlighted the importance of the proposed formula in shielding farmers from the price collapse experienced during the 2018-2021 period, where bumper harvests led to drastically low sugarcane prices.

He noted that this price volatility prompted some farmers to destroy their crops, resulting in scarcity and subsequent price hikes in 2022. Despite the current decline in prices, Muvawala emphasizes the necessity of a stable pricing formula to ensure generational stability in the sugar industry.

Furthermore, Issa Budhugo, Chairperson of the Busoga Sugarcane Growers Cooperative Union, stressed the significant impact of sugarcane on the sub-region’s economic, social, and political landscape.

While acknowledging parliamentary efforts to address the issue, Budhugo urged expedited action, citing the adverse effects of ongoing price drops on farmers’ returns.

In a separate context, the Kyabazinga of Busoga, HRH Gabula Nadiope, has encouraged subjects to prioritize commercial agriculture as a means of securing both food and income for their households.