Farmers in Nwoya and Yumbe Districts are rejoicing at the construction of a fruit factory that will help them no longer have to watch their fruits rot because of a lack of market or sell them at very cheap prices so as to minimize losses.
This is because the government of Uganda has constructed fruit factories in Nwoya and Yumbe Districts respectively, which will help farmers in creating value addition for their fruits by processing them into juice, which they can sell in Uganda or export to other countries, hence increasing the chances of making profits from their produce.
Through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), the government has since earmarked Shs19 billion for the Nwoya Fruit Factory.
Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, revealed this recently in Kampala while witnessing the sale of high-quality mangoes produced by Nwoya Farm owned by Delight Uganda Ltd and supported by NAADS.
He revealed that the factory is being constructed in partnership with Delight Uganda Ltd, manufacturers of Cheers juice, Nwoya District Local Government, and Nwoya Fruit Growers Cooperative Society.
The Minister noted that once the fruit factory starts operating, over 5,000 fruit out growers from eight sub-counties in Nwoya District will benefit from the project because they will have a ready market for their fruits.
“The 12 metric ton per hour factory will add value to the mangoes, oranges, and guavas grown in Nwoya and neighboring districts,” said Ms Khadija Nakakande, the NAADS spokesperson.
She added that; “The installation of the processing equipment will be done in phases starting with 8 metric ton per hour for mangoes and oranges, and later 4 metric tons per hour will be installed.”
Nakakande noted that; “Our aim as NAADS is to increase production for the import substitution through value-addition, improve incomes of farmers and their families. We shall still continue supplying seeds to the farmers.”
She also noted that; “The works would have started exactly at the start of this financial year, but we have been held back by the nationwide lockdown since our team that was meant to travel to the UK to inspect the plant before shipping could not travel in March due to the global travel restrictions.”
Speaking about the same project, Dr. Samuel Mugasi, the Executive Director NAADS, said the process of procuring a contractor is underway and the construction of the factory is set to commence soon.
The Publicist has since learnt that the equipment for the factory will be supplied by Alvan Blanch, a British manufacturing and project engineering company that specialises in post-harvest crop processing.
The Yumbe Fruit factory Project
As the government finalizes preparations for the construction of the Nwoya Fruit Factory, farmers in Yumbe District are ready to start supplying fruits to the newly constructed Yumbe Fruit Factory, which is set to be commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni in December this year.
The project, which is also being overseen by NAADS, has enabled the government to construct a 6 metric ton per hour factory in Yumbe District, West Nile.
The factory is a value addition initiative by the government to increase sustainable production, productivity and value addition in key growth opportunities.
According to officials from NAADS, the government has so far invested Shs8.9 billion into the project to establish and operationalize the fully equipped mango processing facility.
On Monday 6th July 2020, NAADS together with partners in the establishment of the factory including Uganda Development Corporation, Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd (FONUS), Yumbe District Local Government and Aringa Fruit Farmers’ Cooperative Society limited carried out a technical test of the processing equipment in preparation for the official commissioning in December 2020.
During the technical testing, the Executive Director of NAADS Dr. Mugasi, appealed to the people of West Nile to ensure sustainable and continuous production and supply of quality mangoes to the factory at equitable prices, so as not to render the factory dysfunctional.
Dr. Mugasi said; “The construction works are over 90 percent of the project with equipment fully installed. The remaining works include tiling, construction of the fence, and compound. The factory is expected to be commissioned in December 2020.”
According to Dr. Mugasi, the factory is designed based on the local mangoes grown in the West Nile region. It will be a ready market for the farmers with some companies already making offers to buy mango pulp that will be produced by the factory.
The facility, which is expected to begin operations in October 2020, was constructed in partnership with a private investor, Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd (FONUS) and Aringa Mango Farmers’ Cooperative Society based in Yumbe district.