Sugarcane cutters escalate food shortage fears in Kikuube

A tractor carries sugarcane to Hoima Sugar factory in Kikuube District.

Leaders in Kikuube District are worried of food crisis and possible conflict between food crop farmers and sugarcane dealers whose workers are frequently accused of stealing crops in the gardens.

Speaking to Kazi-njema News, Mr Agaba Kabarungi Mugisa, the Nyansorooro Village Chairman in Kiziramfumbi Sub-county, says he has received many complaints from farmers in the areas about the same.

He fears that the few farmers that had continued with serious food crop growing will get demoralised and resort to sugarcane, hence, exposing the communities to food crisis.

It is alleged that when contractors of Hoima Sugar Limited carry sugarcane cutters to a given village in hundreds, they are not given enough food.

Possibly due to the current commodity price hike, the sugarcane cutters look for alternative sources of food from neighbours’ gardens.

These use torches for illumination even harvesting premature beans, cassava and sweet potatoes among other crops. The thieves have left some farmers at risk of food shortage, he adds.

Mr Agaba Kabarungi Mugisa, Nyansorooro Village Chairman in Kiziramfumbi Sub-county, Kikuube District, speaks to Kazi-njema News reporter.
Kabarungi on sugarcane cutters (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Mr Charles Irumba the Kisambya village chairman, says he has similar complaints in his office.

The leaders fear that it might trigger open community hostility against the sugarcane cutters and growers.

Commonly known as“Acokoliko”, the sugarcane cutters are transported in as many a big numbers as 100 to harvest sugarcane in a given area depending on the size of sugarcane farms there.

Mr Maxwell Isingoma aka Max Omuto, the Chairman for out-growers affiliated to Hoima Sugar Limited says he was not yet informed of the magnitude of the issue.

However, he promises to investigate the matter and discuss with Hoima Sugar Limited to put the sugarcane cutters back to order.

The management of Hoima Sugar Limited also says they are yet to receive the complaints despite local leaders’ claims that they had frequently informed the farm supervisors of the issue.

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