When I passed here in 1968, all I saw was grassland. Now we have Atiak Sugar factory here, employing 2000 workers and economically uplifting the community here.
The People of Atiak and Lamwo have made Africa and Uganda proud by REJECTING the message of liars; by DISMISSING malicious leaders and embracing development.
The people of Atiak and Lamwo will smile all the way to the bank after President Yoweri Museveni commissioned the Atiak Sugar Factory in Amuru District. The factory is owned by entrepreneur Amina Moghe Hersi, while government holds 41 percent shares through the Uganda Development Corporation.
“For a country to industrialise, it needs the following; labour, natural resources, capital, knowledge and entrepreneurship. The last group refers to people who have the spectacles to see opportunities which others do not see. Our stock of entrepreneurs in Uganda is growing.
And once a factory is in Uganda, it’s a Ugandan factory irrespective of ownership. I hear some Ugandans talk of Indian factories, those are in India not Uganda,” Museveni explained .
He recalled how some political and economic mafias previously attempted to oppose the development of sugar factory in the Acholi region. “ This is terrible. Why would you reject progress? When I passed here in 1968, all I saw was grassland, fit for grazing cows. Then Amina Hersi came with different spectacles and here we are.
“You saw me hold a bag of sugar in the factory there. That is Atiak sugar. There is Kakira, Lugazi, Kinyara and now we have Atiak sugar. This factory adds to our capacity to produce sugar for internal consumption and export”, the President said..
The factory now employs 2,000 workers and impacts on more than 20,000 people and their families. The neighbours who have sim sim, malakwang, potatoes and other things have got market for their goods from the factory workers..
“In Rwakitura, I sell a litre of milk at Shs600 yet my friend Prof Nsibambi, who had a farm near Kampala, would sell at Shs1,200 because he had a big market. Therefore, when you get a factory like this, please support it. Even if it does not directly employ you, there are many spill-over benefits. The nearby shops, schools, and other facilities will all benefit.
“For Atiak, we are using outgrowers as the fulcrum. Much of the sugarcane will be grown by our people here. Each of these families will have five acres ploughed and planted for them by the factory. The families will look after the cane and will each earn Shs18 million after 18 months,” he said.
Museveni vowed that government will continue to support the project and build a bridge for the sugarcane farmers to cross River Aswa and reduce the distance from 175km to 36km to supply the factory with their crop .
“The bridge will be built so that the part of the project which is on the Lamwo side will be directly linked with the one on Atiak side. This will save the money of the farmers in transport.
I thank the people of Atiak and Lamwo for making Africa proud because they have showed that even rural areas can receive the message of development and are able to reject the message of liars and malicious leaders,” the President said.