Atiak Sugar Factory may be the first sugar producer to be launched in northern Uganda region, but it’s impact will be felt far and wide.
Sitting on an expansive area covering over 16,000 acres of land, the company officially started production this week with the promise to make available an additional 66,000 tones annually to satisfy the taste buds of Ugandans and other consumers of the sweet granules in the East Africa region.
At full capacity, Atiak will be the fifth largest sugar producer in Uganda after Kakira, Kinyara, SCOUL and Sugar and Allied.
Started in 2016, the launch of Atiak sugar factory has been celebrated as a milestone achievement for the region and the country at large. In the first instance, it represents a turning point in the development ambitions of the community and northen Uganda in general illustrated by the fact that a major private venture has successfully established in an erea that was only a few years ago a war zone between Kony’s LRA rebels and the UPDF.
It also represents the culmination of yet another Public Private Partnership following the investment of UGX74bn into Amina Hersi’s company by the Uganda government investment arm Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).
UDC’s investment means that Uganda now has a 44% stake into the company.
According to Ramathan Ggoobi, a memb field for the granules.
Northern Uganda’s very first sugar factory has been launched with the promise to improve the livelihoods of people in the region through provision of a market for cane farmers as well as employment for thousands of people.
The launch is a culmination of a collaboration between a foreign investor, Somali-born Amina Herse and the government of Uganda through the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).
Construction of the factory started in 2017 after a protracted process for land acquisition by the investor.
Ramathan Ggoobi, a board member of UDC, said the company will create market opportunities for up to 5000 cane sugar out growers in the region.
“The target is to empower and uplift vulnerable groups, mainly women returnees of LRA in north who have been organized in cooperative societies to have a source of livelihood. Each beneficiary has been allocated between 3 and 5 acres of already planted sugarcane fields.
The beneficiaries/households will earn an average of UGX 6,000,000 per acres (after deductions) from sale of the 3 rounds of sugar cane crops. This money will be deposited in personal bank accounts of members which they have opened.
For the time being however, the company is looking at sourcing cane from Busoga region as it’s crop gets ready around next year.
Beyond, sugar the company also envisions selling power to Ugandans thermal generation.