Hoima. A new sugar factory worth $6m (Shs22b) is expected to be commissioned before the end of this year in Hoima District.
The factory – Bwendero Sugar Factory – which is owned by businessman John Fitzergerald Magara, will be the 13th in Uganda with an installed cane-crushing capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes per day.
“We are finalising with the fittings of this complex that is being financed through both equity and loans,” he told Daily Monitor in Hoima District.
The factory already has a nucleus estate of 750 hectares of crushing cane but there is concern of encroachers.
“We have made efforts and we are still buying more farm land within. But we are running into issues of squatters who must give us the necessary space to grow sugar [cane],” Mr Magara said.
A number of other sugar factories such as Atiak Sugar, Busia Sugar, Kyankwazi Sugar and Bushenyi Sugar, among others have also indicated their intention to commission soon.
However, there is concern over the mushrooming sugar factories which has brought about unhealthy competition for sugarcanes.
According to the Sugar Policy Bill that is before Parliament, sugar mills must be located within a radius of 50 kilometres.
This, according to sugar producers, ensures that the factories have enough room to grow raw material and expansion.
Mr Magara said this on the sidelines of the Bunyoro Sub Region Business Forum, a forum that seeks to identify potential investment projects in the area of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and skills development.
During the meeting, Ms Patricia Ojangole, the Uganda Development Bank chief executive officer, said they were keen on identifying commercial projects to take advantage of their low interest rate loans to develop their projects.