Kabuleta warns government against leasing forest reserves to investors
By Afayo Shadrach Bethel
The leader of the National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED), Joseph Kabuleta has warned the government against leasing out forest reserves to investors in the name of growing sugarcane, noting that the move is increasing poverty among Ugandans.
Kabuleta made the remarks shortly after sugarcane farmers in Busoga and Bunyoro sub regions decried the exploitation orchestrated by sugar manufacturing investors and middlemen who have made it a tendency to over depreciate the prices of their produce.
Lennox Mugume, a sugarcane farmer from Masindi in Bunyoro sub region, said although the sugarcane growing business was once lucrative, it had recently become a ‘poverty trap’ except for the investors.
Mugume explained it was currently difficult to join the out growers association since the investors took over the body of small scale farmers and heavily controlled it as a way of ensuring that the exploited farmers do not unite to demand better deals.