Many farmers in the Busoga sub-region have turned sugarcane farming into their source of livelihood. However, with a drop in the prices of sugarcane, farmers have been pushed into devastation.
Initially, a ton of sugarcanes cost UGX 180,000 however, the prices kept on dropping from UGX 120,000 to UGX 110,000, then UGX 104,000 and finally the price hit rock bottom of UGX 96,000.
Even with such massive drops in the prices of sugarcanes, those who buy from farmers buy them at even a lesser price of UGX 36,000 which is less than the market value standing at UGX 96,000.
Even when farmers try to boycott the permit brokers who cheat them by selling to other factories, the permit holders also chart them by collecting a commission of about UGX 100,000 on every sugarcane trip.
Basing on one of the outgrows, their immeasurable rates of corruption that have marred the industry to a point that for a farmer to acquire a permit, it would require a leg and an arm at least.
“There is a level of corruption exhibited in that area. Getting a permit, is a struggle, you must give money. Getting a vehicle is also another hustle, you must also give money,” said one Mr. James Wako while speaking to media.
Aside from the ever-growing rates of corruption, farmers have also been affected by disruptions in exportation to neighboring Kenya as well as the increase of cheap smuggled sugar into the market.
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The industry is in such a state that even with the giveaway prices the crop has dropped too now, the industries still do not have the capacity to consume all the produce thanks to their incapability to produce a lot of sugar.
Hence resulting in fluctuations in the sugar market that the middlemen have used as a perfect opportunity to milk honey out of the local farmers. This has left most farmers bleeding from the massive losses.