What you need to know:
- Atiak Sugar says an internet-enabled system to detect and mitigate fire outbreaks on the factory and cane plantations has been installed
Atiak Sugar has said it has invested in technology to mitigate plantation fires that have on several occasions destroyed acres of cane.
Speaking during a tour of the Atiak Sugar Factory, Mr Bunty Seeruttun, the director of agriculture, said an internet-enabled system to detect and mitigate fire outbreaks on the factory and cane plantations has been installed.
The system, he said, is fully fitted with a center-pivot irrigation scheme composed of a water-wheel and circle irrigation with fully automated pipes and a 24-hour WiFi system.
“This will mitigate fires. It will enable us to get alerts and we shall switch on the centre pivot with just a click of a button,” he said, noting that beyond building a firefighting system, they had also built a technologically powered irrigation system that will enable them to harvest more cane, while at the same time reduce the crop cycle from 18 months to one year.
Through, Uganda Development Corporation, government has for years injected more than Shs80b in Atiak Sugar, which gives it about eight million preferential shares.
Mr Mohamud Ahmed, the Atiak Sugar director planning and business development, said they were now looking at sustainable ways that would enable the factory to start sugar production.
“These additional resources are to make the project sustainable. It is not about completing the factory. This is coming in as preferential shares or equity,” he said, noting that, the equity is, however, more debt leaning and once the project starts to generate income, it will be the first thing to be paid.
Horale Foundation owns 60 percent of Atiak Sugar. Mr Ahmed noted that if all goes according to plan, by the end of 2024, Atiak Sugar will be producing sugar for local consumption and export, given that nearly 50 per cent of the equipment have been received with some already installed.