In Uganda, poor rains, coupled with the effects of the war to oust former President Idi Amin last year, have caused widespread food shortages throughout the northern regions of the country.
GV & SV Run-down Kakira plantation in Uganda
GV Small amount of sugar cane on truck
GV Many unemployment workers standing, near idle tracks and equipment (6 shots)
GV/SV INTERIOR Warehouse with sugar ready for export
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Background: In Uganda, poor rains, coupled with the effects of the war to oust former President Idi Amin last year, have caused widespread food shortages throughout the northern regions of the country. Nurses and doctors in the area are reporting a sharp increase in the numbers of children suffering from malnutrition. One district commissioner said food assistance would be needed soon. Last year, the Uganda government requested food aid for 350,000 people from the United Nations Development Programme. The Programme supplied two thirds of the amount. This year, the request for aid has been increased to take in those likely to be affected by the drought. Even where crops do survive, the condition of plantations, run down by the mismanagement during the Amin rule, presents an ever greater threat for the future.
SYNOPSIS: The Kakira sugar plantation near Jinja illustrates the problems facing those seeking to rebuilt the country's shattered economy. This plantation, owned by a once-powerful Asian family, resumed production last month. Since 1972, when Amin expelled the Asians, Kakira has gone downhill.
The plantation employs seven thousand workers, but most of them have little to do. The standing cane is so old, it is barely worth the effort to harvest it. The equipment is broken, destroyed by years of neglect. The owners said there can be no real production on a profit-making scale for the next eighteen-months. That is when the cane being planted now will reach maturity.
Despite the problems, Kakira is producing sugar, but only about two tonnes a day -- five percent of its potential output. It's hoped to replace much of the machinery over the next two years, so that plantation can make its full contribution to Uganda's food supply.