Since 2017, the Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is supporting farmers to promote sugarcane production using an out grower’s scheme arrangement in Northern Uganda. The project dubbed Atiak sugarcane Project is being implemented under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NAADS, participating farmer cooperatives, and respective Local Governments of Amuru, Gulu, Lamwo and Adjumani that was signed on Monday 6th October 2019.
Party to the MOU is Horyal Investment Holdings Ltd, a private company that has constructed Atiak Sugar Factory in which Government owns 40% shares. The factory is expected to be a ready market for the sugarcane out growers in the region where sugar production has already begun.
At its inception, the project targeted to cover 13,841 acres at the main plantation at Atiak and Amuru district, but expansion of 15,000 acres has been made in Ayu Alali, Palabek Kal sub-county, Lamwo district. And also a further expansion of 31,159 acres is planned in Palabek Ogil, Lamwo district bringing the total number of acreage to 60,000.
Through this project, Government aims at empowering and uplifting the most vulnerable groups including women in the Acholi Sub-region who are members of the three beneficiary cooperatives societies, that is, Atiak Sugar Plantation Out Growers Cooperative Society Limited, Gem Pacilo farmers’ cooperative society to have a source of livelihood through sugarcane growing in Amuru District and Ayu Alali Cooperatives society in Lamwo districts.
Through the cooperative societies, farmers are mobilized to take advantage of the out grower’s scheme which will improve the household incomes of the LRA war returnees. The cooperative societies play a leading role in mobilizing and sensitizing their members to participate actively in the out grower’s scheme.
The project is set to benefit 1,344 members of Atiak Sugar plantation out grower’s society Ltd and 1,800 members for Gem Pacilo farmers’ cooperative society. It is planned that each of the beneficiary households hailing from the districts of Adjumani, Gulu, Lamwo and Amuru will be allocated between 3-5 acres of already planted sugarcane fields.
Objectives of the intervention
- To uplift the economic status of vulnerable groups including women and returnees from exile
- To support the establishment of an out grower’s scheme for the project with land preparation and inputs such as seeds, herbicides and fertiliser
- To coordinate and link the out growers to the Atiak sugar factory
Government through NAADS supports the production of sugar cane in Northern Uganda under out grower schemes through facilitating the procurement and supply of quality inputs, including seed cane, fertilizer, herbicides and acquisition of hired labour services (including hired machinery/equipment) for sugar cane production among out growers:
- Bush clearing and land preparation of the earmarked sugar cane production sites/fields
- Labour for bush clearing, land preparation, planting cane, manual and mechanical weeding, seed cane harvesting and loading services
- Supply, delivery and transportation of cane seed to the earmarked sugar cane production sites/fields
- Supply, transportation and delivery of DAP and UREA fertilizer to the earmarked sugar cane production sites/fields