Kayunga official links land fights to sugarcane growing
Posted Wednesday, March 13 2013 at 02:00
District chief says a new by-law will be enacted to ensure that each family plants at least one acre of casava. This will curtail the growing food insecurity in the district.
The escalating number of land disputes in Kayunga District that have resulted in loss of lives and property have been blamed on the residents’ decision to take on commercial sugarcane growing.
According to the district chairperson, Mr Steven Dagada, most residents, especially in Bbale, Kayonza, Galilaaya and Busaana sub-counties, have abandoned crops like coffee, pineapple, resulting into food insecurity in the area.
Mr Dagada said given the small pieces of land owned by most residents, many of them cannot accommodate sugarcane and other food crops.
“Sugarcane growing has greatly compromised food production and is likely to lead to starvation and malnutrition,” he said.
Sugar manufacturing companies - Scoul and Madhvani - have both bought big chunks of land in the area for sugarcane growing.
The Bbale County MP, Mr Sulaiman Madada, said because most landlords had sold their land to Scoul or Madhvani and in the process evicted squatters, land wrangles were abound.
“We are trying to sensitise residents not to sell their land or use it for sugarcane growing because they end up using all the money they get from sugarcane growing to buy food,” Mr Madada, who is also state minister for Elderly, said.
Mr Dagada said recently the district would pass a food security by-law, where each homestead would be require to plant at least one acre of cassava.
Mr Ntege Kizito, the district speaker, said: “Many small land owners who had taken on sugarcane growing would be stopped.”
Mr Dagada said that residents could earn more if they concentrated on growing high value crops like vegetables, fruits and bananas from their land instead of growing sugarcane.
In Bbale County, a Danish investor’s dry un-harvested maize worth Shs100m was burnt by unknown arsonists in what is believed to be a land conflict between the investor and tenants he evicted from the land after buying it.
According to police crime records, land cases had increased in the district last year compared to previous years.