Sugarcane farmers from Masindi have for the second time this year resolved to suspend supply of sugarcane to Kinyara Sugar Ltd over the company’s failure to effect their final payment for the 2017/18 financial year.
The resolution was passed during the farmers’ special general meeting on the final payment and the price of sugarcane for the current financial year held at their House in Kabango town today.
The meeting followed a communication by Kinyara Sugar Ltd to the farmers’ board informing it that it will not be able to pay the farmers shs 9000 as final payment for last financial year.
The letter read in the meeting by the chairperson of Masindi Sugarcane Growers Ltd (MASGAL) Cosmas Byaruhanga, Kinyara sugar Ltd cited sugarcane fires, sugarcane poaching and low sugar price during the financial year as having made the company to incur loss as the reason why it could not pay the money.
He also read a letter that the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Godfrey Nyakahuma wrote to the farmers’ board responding to its request for his intervention in the impasse between the farmers and Kinyara Sugar Ltd over final payment for the last financial year and the price for the current year.
In the letter, Nyakahuma who quoted Kinyara Sugar Ltd’s response to the farmers’ board, noted that he could not intervene in the matter since Kinyara Sugar Ltd had stated its position on the matter and it did not require a third party intervention in resolving it.
However, the farmers insisted that Kinyara Sugar Ltd should give them their final payment saying they are not demanding payment for the sugarcane that was sold to the sugarcane poachers or that was burnt.
The farmers resolved to suspend supplying sugarcane to the company until it pays their final payment and to announce the price for the current financial year.
They also resolved to sue the company over their final non-payment.
The farmers also accused Masindi RDC Nyakahuma and Bunyoro Affairs Minister, Ernest Kiiza of allegedly siding with Kinyara Sugar Ltd at their expense.
When contacted for a comment, Kiiza said the farmers’ chairperson petitioned the Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde seeking her intervention, thus the matter is being handled by the ministry.
However, we could not get a comment from RDC Nyakahuma on the matter.
At the end of the meeting, farmers from the four sugarcane growing zones in Masindi district formed committees that will be charged with enforcing the suspension of the supply of sugarcane to Kinyara.
They also tasked their board to write to Kinyara Sugar Ltd and other government offices on the suspension that took immediate effect and to work on the court case against the sugar company.
The farmers had earlier in July this year suspended the supply of sugarcane to Kinyara Sugar Ltd. But the suspension was called off after Kinyara Sugar Ltd increased the interim payment from shs110,000 to shs120,000 per tonne of sugarcane for last financial year.