Environment

Govt to Degazette Zoka Forest for Sugarcane Plantation

Government has revealed plans to degazette a portion of the Zokka central forest reserve in Adjumani district in a bid to create land for sugarcane plantation.

According to the State Minister of Lands, information pills http://couponsavingfamily.com/wp-admin/includes/post.php Housing and Urban Development Hon. Persis Namuganza, advice http://deborahmillercounselor.com/wp-admin/includes/screen.php 10, medications 000 hectares of the forest will be leased to private investors to grow sugar as an alternative to Busoga region.

Zoka forest covers about 13 square kilometers and is situated in the East Madi Wildlife reserve.

She told journalists on Friday that the decision was informed by the food crisis that has perennially hit Busoga due to lack of food crops.

“Busoga has been known for growing sugarcane butt this has come with negative impacts. It is surprising the region is now seeking humanitarian assistance from government following famine and high levels of poverty.”

Minister Namuganza attributed the biting poverty to the fact that the locals own small portions of land which they have been forced to use for sugar growing.

“People own land as small as one acre and they are using all of it to plant sugarcane since they are given incentives by investors. One requires too much land if they are to benefit from sugarcane plantation. And it doesn’t benefit only Busoga but Uganda as a whole.”

“We will degazette 10,000 hectares in Zoka forest so we can save some land for the people in Busoga to cultivate food that can sustain them economically,” Hon. Namuganza said.

She cited the example of Brazil, a major exporter of sugar which took a similar decision to degazette part of its natural resources so as to plant sugarcane.

According to the Minister, government has already engaged investors including Kakira Sugar, Madhvani and others to stop mobilizing the local growers in Busoga.

“We told them to stop providing the incentives like free inputs, tilling, inputs to the sugarcane growers. Upon their request, we opted to offer a part of Zoka as an alternative for them to do their business,” she said.

Investors had been concerned that such a decision could lead to a sugar crisis in Uganda since no other region grows as much sugarcane as Busoga does.

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