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Sugar industry takes aim at Ugandan forest again

Source:  Copyright 2011, AlertNet
Date:  October 18, 2011
Byline:  Patrick Luganda
Original URL: Status ONLINE

At Najjembe roadside market, in the heart of Uganda's rainforest, Sanyu Nakato offers the bright yellow bananas in her basket to hungry passengers on the long-distance coach to neighbouring Kenya, who snap up her wares.

"I sell up to 20 baskets of bananas daily,' she says. "Although we're selling lots of different fruits, the customers are also many.'

Traffic flows along the Kampala-Jinja highway from dawn to dusk, bringing a steady stream of customers for the fresh produce grown by villagers living inside the rainforest reserve.

"There is plenty of rain the whole year round, and farmers are able to grow fruits and vegetables to sell. They also get other products from the forest such as medicinal plants,' says Robert Kungujja at the nearby eco-tourism centre.

The Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist, semi-deciduous forest remaining in Uganda's central region. It is also unique because it contains 27 village ...

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