Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde

Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Minister Amelia Kyambadde has hailed her ministry for the high rate at which the sugar industry in Uganda is growing.
While presenting a ministerial statement to parliament on Tuesday, Kyambadde said the sugar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Uganda contributing over Shs290 billion in taxes in 2016/17 and employing over 60,000 Ugandans directly and indirectly.
According to Amelia, the Industry also produces over 100 megawatts of electricity from bagasse of which over 40megawatts is supplied to the national grid.
However, she noted that the taxes and the power generated have reduced of recent. “Currently, there are 30 licensed sugar mills in the country although only 11 are in operation while the rest are at different stages of development,” she said.
She further revealed that over the last 10 years sugar production has been increasing by nearly 12 per cent annually making Uganda the only sugar surplus producing country in East Africa Kenya produced 327,000 metric turns against page of demand of over 800,000 metric turns in 2017, Tanzania had a shortage of over 200,000 metric turns and Rwanda a shortage of 70,000 metric turns
The Minister also explained the hike in sugar prices last year which hit a maximum of Shs8 500 per kilo in some parts of the Country.
“The hiked prices were as a result of prolonged drought that stretched for a period of nine months from early 2016, increased regional demand of Uganda’s sugar especially in Kenya and Rwanda and increased cost of sugar cane from Shs85, 000 in 2016 to Shs175, 000 in 2017, she explained.
She also said her ministry has confirmed with Uganda Revenue Authority that there is no direct importation of duty free sugar, no dumping of sugar and smuggling which is mainly done by boda bodas through our porous borders and who repackaged in branded bags of Kakira, Kinyara and Lugazi sugar making it difficult for URA to seize.
According to Kyambadde, operations by seized over 55 metric turns of illicit sugar from July to December 2017.
“Sugar millers have stock piled over 0,000 metric tons of sugar as shown below, company sugar stock (MT) as at 12 02 2018 Kakira Sugar 13,712 Kinyara Sugar 22,099 SCOUL Lugazi 8,05 Mayuge Sugar ,000 GM Sugar 2,000 Kaliro Sugar,” she said.
She said smuggling of duty free sugar has not only hurt the sugar industry but also the out growers of sugarcane whose livelihoods entirely depend on supply of sugarcane to the factories, affected electricity generation and shall eventually affect other industries that depend on by products of sugar cane such as distillers of spirits, other beverages, bakeries and animal feed industries
She noted that to bring this current situation under control the government has agreed to undertake operation to curtail smuggling of sugar across borders commencing this week and allow controlled export of sugar to the regional market.
She revealed that she is contacting her colleague from Tanzania to have 25,000 metric turns of sugar exported to Tanzania and also formally contacting Kenyan colleague express our concern to the flow of sugar from across our common borders.