By: Francis Mugerwa and George Muzoora
Masindi: Kinyara Sugar Works is counting losses after a fire gutted more than 600 hectares of its sugarcane plantations.
The company’s spokesperson, Mr Jude Mubuuke, said they lost about 200 hectares on Friday and more than 420 hectares of sugarcanes on Sunday, although the firm was hesitant to reveal the amount of money lost.
Mr Mubuuke said the company processes about 100 tonnes of sugar from each hectare, meaning that the firm had lost approximately 62,000 tonnes of sugar.
Sources within the company said the firm crashes about 4,000 tonnes of sugar daily.
The firm said it suspected that the fire could have resulted from farmers who were burning charcoal in forests neighbouring estate while other preliminary investigations point to a possibility of the fires being from bush burning.
“We are yet to ascertain the exact causes of the fire but in the meantime, we are sensitizing communities against setting unnecessary fires,” Mr Mubuuke said.
Since last December, district technocrats, politicians and security officials have been sensitising residents to refrain from burning the sugar canes, a vice which has for years been common during the dry seasons.
Insiders in the sugar factory confided in this newspaper that the fire outbreaks caught authorities by surprise.
The factory workers used fire-fighting equipment and were joined by police to extinguish the fire.
Police officials were by press time investigating the matter.
Source: Daily Monitor