Following the failure by Kinyara Sugar Ltd in Masindi District to effect the sugarcane out growers’ final payment for the 2017/18 financial year, farmers have today decided to meet in an extra ordinary farmers’ general meeting to discuss a way forward.
The meeting has been called by their chairman Cosmas Byaruhanga at their offices in Kabango town council.
Byaruhanga told our reporter on phone this morning that he decided to call for a meeting to resolve two issues affecting farmers. These include the final payment and the sugarcane price for the 2018/2019 financial year.
He said the board hit a deadlock with Kinyara Sugar Ltd over the 9,000-shilling- final payment and decided to call the general meeting today.
By press time, more than 400 sugar cane farmers had already converged.
Kinyara Sugar Ltd has not been invited in this meeting, according to Byaruhanga adding that it is meant for only sugarcane farmers to discuss the matter.
Byaruhanga said the farmers will decide in the meeting to either decide to stop supplying their sugarcane to Kinyara factory which is resuming operations next week or take them to courts of law for failing to effect the farmers’ final payment.
Last week, the management of Kinyara Sugar Ltd turned down a request by the Masindi Sugarcane Out-Growers Association Ltd (MASGAL) to effect the farmers final payment for the 2017/18 financial year.
The letter dated 9 this month to the MASGAL chairperson signed by the Kinyara Sugar Ltd General Manager; Ramalingham Ravi gives various reasons for the company’s failure to effect the final payment.
In the letter- a copy of which our reporter has seen, Ravi said the company lost more than 5,000 hectares to sugarcane poaching and diversion to Jaggery over the last two years, thus, resulting in low sales.
Ravi added that because the market was flooded with huge volumes of adulterated illicit sugar, it resulted in low sales, thus, the company is unable to effect the farmers final payment for financial year 2017/18.
However, the General Manager remained silent on the issue of sugarcane price for the 2018/19 fiscal year.