A row has erupted between rice growers across the country, after the ministry of trade allowed a single firm to import rice from Tanzania taxi-free.
Daily Monitor in its Sunday paper broke a story of one company getting Shs16b tax break to import rice.
The Rice Association of Uganda headed by Racheal Mbabazi then sent a protest note to the minister of trader Kyambadde, questioning the logic behind the ministry’s decision to allow a single firm “Gotovate Uganda Limited” to import 50,000 metric tons of rice from Tanzania without paying taxes.
However, Isaac Kashaija, the Chairperson of Rice Business Sector Association Limited attacked RAU for protesting the move, saying the major reason for exempting Gotovate Uganda limited to import tax-free rice was to address the rice shortage in the country and rice prices that went high during covid-19.
He said that currently, the demand for rice in Uganda stands at around 380,000 metric tonnes per month, but the total local production stands at about 180,000 meter tonnes, leaving a deficit of 200,000 tonnes.
He has asked the two parties to work together to improve rice production in Uganda rather than fight each other.