Kakira Sugar Out Growers Demand Pay Rise

6085 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
More than ten thousand sugarcane out-growers under Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association – BSGA - are pushing for a pay increase from Kakira Sugar Works Limited.

More than ten thousand sugarcane out-growers under Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association – BSGA - are pushing for a pay increase from Kakira Sugar Works Limited.
 
The out-growers have threatened to stop delivering sugarcane if their pay is not increased.

Out growers are paid 70,000 shillings per ton of sugarcane and. They say Kakira Sugar Works Limited pays them less compared to rates paid by different sugar companies ranging from 83,000 to 90,000 shillings.

Nuhu Sajjabi, the BSGA coordinator blames the low pay on the formula used in determining the price of sugarcane. He says the growers have no input on the formula used to come up with the prices. He says the price of sugarcane comes from the current factory price of sugar multiplied by the amount of sugar got from one ton of sugarcane. This is again multiplied by 40% of sales of sugar by Kakira Sugar Limited.

The growers can only determine the price by bargaining with Kakira Sugar Limited to increase the percentage share of sugar sold, but the rest is determined by the sugar Kakira management.

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According to Abu Tibiita, a delegate for Sugarcane growers from Busedde sub county, the percentage share should be increased from 40% to at least 50%. He says this will earn the sugarcane growers 100,000 shillings per ton of sugarcane delivered to Kakira. He says the sugarcane growers earn 9000 shillings per ton as arrears which should also be increased to 20,000 shillings. Arrears are derived from the difference between the interim price of sugarcane and the price of sugarcane for the coming new season.

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David Ojwang, the BSCA Chairman says no grower will deliver sugarcane to Kakira Sugar Limited effective this week, if the price of sugarcane and arrears are not improved.

He says a ton of sugarcane produces 90 kilograms of sugar that is sold at 260,000 shillings but the sugarcane grower earns only 26% of the money despite paying for transport, cutters and loaders of the cane on to the lorries.

Dr. M.R Reddy, the agricultural manager of Kakira Sugar Limited, says he will have a meeting with the out growers who are pushing for a pay rise.  He says the push for a pay rise in arrears and the price of sugarcane has been instigated by the out-growers leadership, otherwise Kakira Sugar Limited pays them well.