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Deal #1976

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Coordinates
Location
Kalanga, Uganda

Latitude
-0.4462387773346961
Longitude
32.21236202877196
Target country
Uganda
Comment on location
Bugula Island in Kalangala District

Location #2

Spatial accuracy level
Administrative region
Location
Buvuma, Uganda

Target country
Uganda

Land area

Intended size (in ha)
40000
Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
12725
[2003] 6500
[2012] 7000
[2018] 7591
Size in operation (production, in ha)
7500
[2009] 5600
[2014] 6225
Comment on land area
Original plan was to have a 10,000ha nucleus estate, but private partner negotiated for 6500ha. There is conflicting information whether the land lease is in fact 10 000hectares instead of 6500 hectares. One report states that: 5,500 hectares of land were allocated from the Sempa Family, and 3,000 hectares out of public land in the same district for this project. 18000acres have been cleared. IFAD 2011 report states: "As a result of the new negotiations with BIDCO Oil Refineries Ltd. (Kenya) nucleus estate was increased to 6,500ha and the 3,500ha for smallholder development maintained,thereby bringing the total area planted to 10,000 ha." New information indicates that 6225ha have been leased at Kalangala with and additional 6500ha which has been purchased at Buvuma. A portion of the land on Buvuma will be used for infrastructure and other purposes. The second phase of the project, an additional 10 000 hectares, will expand the production onto several more islands, including Buvuma Island in Mukono District- government claims to have secured the land from communities on willing buyer willing seller with the company gaining 10 000ha (4000ha from outgrowers)- this land is still to be handed over to the investor (October 2017). Overall aim is 40000ha under palm oil, 30000ha of which under contract farming- expansion already starting on the mainland.

Intention of investment

Intention of the investment
Agriculture unspecified
Comment on intention of investment
Oil palm, many possible uses. One report states oil palm for edible oil.

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Outright Purchase
Lease
Comment on nature of the deal
Lease on Kalangala and purchase on Buvuma.

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
[2003] Concluded (Contract signed)
Comment on negotiation status
The agreement included that the land would be acquired 'free of encumbrances'.Opul acquired additional land leases from a Ugandan businessman, Amos Ssempa, with the aim of expanding its plantations in 2011. The company gained an additional 1200ha in 2012.

Implementation status

Implementation status
[2009] In operation (production)
Comment on implementation status
First Fruit bunches to be harvested in 2009. Allegations that the company is operating without an EIA.

Contract farming

Contract farming
Yes
Not on leased / purchased area (out-grower)
Yes
Not on leased / purchased area (out-grower, in ha)
3864
Not on leased / purchased farmers (out-grower)
1610
Comment on contract farming
Outgrower scheme only started in 2006. Outgrowers are organised in the Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust (KOPGT). Outgrower farmers whose crop reached maturity are currently earning an average of UGX 600,000 per hectare per month from sale of their oil palm fruits to the palm oil factory. outgrowers are denouncing that the company, in partnership with the government, fixed monopolistic purchase prices that make it impossible for them to earn a living. 1610 farmers on 3864ha of land- IFAD documents).

Contract #1

Duration of the agreement (in years)
99

Number of jobs for foreigners created

Comment on jobs created (foreign)
wages are poor

Number of domestic jobs created

Jobs created (domestic)
Yes
Planned number of jobs (domestic)
1757
Current number of daily/seasonal workers (domestic)
3500
Comment on jobs created (domestic)
Employees in the Oil Palm Plantations, Palm Oil Mill in Kalangala and the Jinja Oil Refinery. Wages are poor. 95% of the jobs provided by the plantations goes to migrant workers brought in from other parts of Uganda, not to local communities.

Operating company

Operating company
Name of investment project
Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP)
Comment on investment chain
The palm oil project is supported by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad). The World Bank withdrew from the projects, with concerns that the project would not meet the bank's policies on forestry.

 

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Data source #1

Data source type
Personal information
Date
2016-11-18
Comment on data source
"The current land under lease to Bidco at Bugala (Kalangala) is I think 6,225 hectares. Thus far a further 6,500 ha has been purchased at Buvuma with another 1600ha possibly to be purchased. This will be the "gross" amount, of which up to 25% (I think) could be for infrastructure, the buffer strip, unusable and used for other purposes."

Data source #2

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2016-02-23
Comment on data source
Business Daily- Bidco hits back over Uganda farmers lobby’s land claims

Data source #3

Data source type
Company sources
File
Comment on data source
response to the friend of the earth report 2013

Data source #4

Data source type
Media report
File
Comment on data source
pg 2 of PDF, 2007

Data source #5

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2015-08-05
Comment on data source
Capital FM- Ugandan Government clears Bidco in land claim

Data source #6

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
IFAD- Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains. A case study of the Oil Palm PPP in Kalangala, Uganda. 2015

Data source #7

Data source type
Other (Please specify in comment field)
File
Comment on data source
IFAD website. Republic of Uganda: Vegetable Oil Development Project

Data source #8

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2015-07-25
Comment on data source
Business Insider- Uganda's farmers battle palm oil Goliaths for land

Data source #9

Data source type
Media report
File
Comment on data source
Friends of the Earth 2013 report regarding the land acquisition

Data source #10

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2017-10-17
Comment on data source
The Independent- INTERVIEW: Bidco’s $70million investment on Buvuma Island near

Data source #11

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2017-04-19
Comment on data source
All Africa- Uganda: Govt Pays Billions in Taxes for Aya, Bidco, Quality Chemicals

Data source #12

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Grain-Planet palm oil, September 2014

Data source #13

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Vegetable Oil Development Project Interim Evaluation. March 2011. IFAD

Data source #14

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2012-05-07
Comment on data source
Daily Monitor- Palm Plantation: Land grabbing uproar in Kalangala District, pg 37 of the pdf, received from Martin

Data source #15

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2016-09-27
Comment on data source
Africa Review- Oil firm wins Uganda project court battle

Data source #16

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Forest Trends Report Series- Consumer Goods and Deforestation: An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Illegality in Forest Conversion for Agriculture and Timber Plantations, September 2014

Data source #17

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2016-06-19
Comment on data source
Reuters- 'All we ask is for is our land back': Uganda's Bugala Island farmers

Data source #18

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2016-09-08
Comment on data source
The Italian Insider- Furore over IFAD support for Uganda land grab

Data source #19

Data source type
Government sources
Comment on data source
Republic of Uganda, Vegetable Oil Development Project 2 (VODP2), Project Design Document, Working Paper 4: Oil Palm Development

Data source #20

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Piacenza, Claudia (2012), “Negotiating gendered property relations over land: oil palm expansion in Kalangala district, Uganda”, University of Wageningen, Netherlands

Data source #21

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Land grabbing for palm oil in Uganda, milieu defensie

Data source #22

Data source type
Government sources
File
Comment on data source
VEGETABLE OIL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (VODP). PHASE II

Data source #23

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2015-02-19
Comment on data source
The Ecologist- UN, banks and oil palm giants feast on the stolen land of Uganda's dispossessed

Data source #24

Data source type
Media report
File
Comment on data source
WRM- Let´s stop further destruction by Bidco Africa industrial oil palm plantations

Data source #25

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2015-03-03
Comment on data source
The Guardian- Ugandan farmers take on palm oil giants over land grab claims

Data source #26

Data source type
Company sources
File

Data source #27

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2016-02-24
Comment on data source
The Observer- Oil palm farmers want UN to cut ties with Bidco Uganda

Data source #28

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2018-02-26
Comment on data source
Daily Monitor- MPs okay Buvuma oil palm project, warn against delays

Consultation of local community

Community consultation
Not consulted
Comment on consultation of local community
The company states " Prior to project commencement, there was extensive consultation with the affected communities, including public hearings. The project was initiated with support from the communities and local and district leadership". Other data sources states that no consultation occurred.

How did the community react?

Community reaction
Mixed reaction
Comment on community reaction
Community outcries for the project to be reformed or shut-down have been ignored. Affected communities are demanding the return of land improperly taken, guarantees for the protection of community land rights, compensation for crop damage, and long term protection of community forests, water, and other natural resources. On 19 February 2015, a group of farmers filed a lawsuit against Bidco Uganda and Amos Ssempa, who leased the land to Opul.

Displacement of people

Comment on displacement of people
Around 100 small scale farmers and their families. One report states that thousands of community members have been displaced. 5,442 PAPs (Project Affected Persons)- 7,591 hectares have been secured.

Promised or received compensation

Promised compensation (e.g. for damages or resettlements)
Some of the displaced received new land. Some reports suggest that the community received inadequate compensation (ranging from Shs 100 000 to 1.5million) for their land and that international norms and national laws were broken. The report also claims the communities suffer from degraded water sources. Another report states that the squatters were offered between $35 and $200. Total compensation paid as at Feb 2018 is Shs67 billion.

Promised benefits for local communities

Promised benefits for local communities
Health
Education
Productive infrastructure (e.g. irrigation, tractors, machinery...)
Roads
Comment on promised benefits for local communities
infrastructure – such as electric power, roads, ferries and medical facilities

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
State
Private (large-scale farm)
Comment on former land owner
5,500 hectares of land were allocated from the Sempa Family, and 3,000 hectares out of public land in the same district for this project. However the land was occupied by illegal squatters, as it was not being used by the Sempa Family.

Former land use

Former land use
Smallholder agriculture
Pastoralism
Forestry
Comment on former land use
The Sempa family were not using the land. Illegal squatters were growing coffee, bananas, cassava and potatoes on some of the land.

Former land cover

Former land cover
Cropland
Forest land
Shrub land/Grassland (Rangeland)
Comment on former land cover
Approximately 3600 hectares of natural forest was removed to plant oil palms- causing severe environmental degradation and water pollution. The operations occur on an island of Lake Victoria which has high biodiversity.

Detailed crop, animal and mineral information

Crops area
Oil Palm

Use of produce

Has domestic use
Yes
Has export
Yes
Comment on use of produce
when it is complete the project is expected to produce double the current consumption when it is complete, suggesting that a large proportion will actually be destined for export (FoE International 2013

In country processing of produce

In country processing of produce
Yes
Comment on in country processing of produce
Oil processing facility at Jinja. The refinery was established in 2005.

Water extraction envisaged

Water extraction envisaged
Yes

Source of water extraction

Source of water extraction
Surface water (Lake)

Overall comment

Overall comment
Project supported by IFAD funding, Oilpalm Uganda provides $120m, IFAD provides $19m loan. One report states that IFAD is "directly overseeing" the project after providing a $52 million loan. Ugandan government provides $12m for land, electricity. Reports that government halted plans after 6000 ha already cleared. Land being allocated part of national forest reserves; led to public protests. Other report says project has provided incomes and improved infrastructure. Biggest palm oil producer in the country.

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