UGANDA – After a two-year suspension, the Atiak Sugar Factory, spanning an impressive 17,000 hectares and operated by Horyal Investments Holding Company, is poised for a remarkable resurgence, targeting the resumption of production by the end of 2024.

This revival marks a significant milestone in the factory’s journey. Originally inaugurated by President Yoweri Museveni in 2020 in the northern district of Amuru, the factory was forced to suspend operations due to a dual onslaught wildfire and the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent developments have breathed new life into the Atiak Sugar Factory, with the acquisition of a range of heavy-duty machinery, including a state-of-the-art boom sprayer and a cutting-edge green harvester, both equipped with satellite technology.

To further expedite operations, the factory has also added several 600-horsepower tractors to its arsenal.

Benson Ongom, the Director of Communications for the factory, emphasized the commitment to delivering high-quality sugar within an 11 to 13-month timeline.

“With support from the Uganda Development Bank, the Atiak Sugar Factory is on the verge of becoming 75 percent mechanized, signifying a significant leap forward in efficiency,” Ongom said.

“We are in the process of recruiting drivers and operators who will work in shifts. When production resumes, we anticipate employing approximately 700 workers.”

Crucially, the factory is actively prioritizing the recruitment of local workers from the Acholi sub-region, thus generating employment opportunities for the residents.

Community leaders and residents alike eagerly anticipate the positive impact the factory’s revival will have on the area.

Jennifer Adoch, a resident and local leader in Lamogi sub-county, voiced her optimism, describing the initiative as a significant boon for the community.

Akello Monica from Guruguru sub-county emphasized the importance of involving lower local leaders in addressing potential challenges, recognizing their intimate connection to the region.

The factory’s ambitious plans extend beyond its machinery and workforce. To optimize sugarcane harvests, an advanced irrigation scheme encompassing 4,000 square acres is in development.

This extensive project features 62 automated irrigation command centers.

“Our aim is to leverage sugarcane varieties that yield more sugar with less input. The construction of four dams has already commenced to bolster our irrigation efforts,” Bunty Seeruttun, the Director of Agriculture at the Atiak Sugar Factory, elaborated.

Local leaders see the fully operational Atiak Sugar Factory as a catalyst for improving the region’s image and fostering industrialization.

“The presence of this factory here in northern Uganda holds great significance, as it aligns with our aspirations for regional industrialization,” Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, the Member of Parliament representing the people of Bardege-Layibi division, stressed.

While praising the factory’s mechanization efforts, the Amuru District LC5 Chairperson also highlighted the importance of harmonious coexistence with the surrounding communities, recognizing the symbiotic relationship between the factory’s success and the well-being of the residents.

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