Uganda has registered a first value addition factory, being the first in potato lavorazione not only in the country, but also in the region.
The processing plant built cost more than USD 10 million and serve potato farmers in three countries. It was last Friday commissioned in Kisoro, some 510 km from capital Kampala.
It is planned that the factory to expand into other food products to utilize the huge potential in value addition of Uganda agriculture, according to East African Business Week.
The investor, Tom Mugenga, was very happy for seeing his dream come true. Dr Bahana, the Technical advisor of the project narrated how Tom, had seen French Fries dominating menus of European tourists visiting Kenya, which had already two factories. Mombasa is not exactly in a potato growing zone. Tom thought hard and realized how he could turn his otherwise impoverished district of Kisoro into a prosperous rural enclave. He approached Netherlands Private Sector Investment of the Netherlands. PSI saw a good investment idea with a social impact and came on board. PSI would reimburse all funds that Tom’s project would incur in construction and building works. Tom then contacted Uganda Development Bank for a loan to purchase machinery.
On the other hand, the government in Uganda works to help farmers to access warehousing services.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives is to license the operation of nine warehouses across the country and private firms have started bidding.The move is aimed at helping farmers to access warehousing services. According to the Project Manager, Warehouse Receipt System Project, Deborah Kyarasiime, some of the nine will be managed by cooperatives.
“We have received application from private individuals and cooperatives applying for setting up warehouse in various parts of the country. As a Ministry we are scrutinizing there application and very soon the Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority (UWRSA) will grant the applicants licenses to operate,” , Deborah Kyarasiime, Project Manager, Warehouse Receipt System Project, told East African Business Week.
In Uganda potatoes are essentially a food security crop with steadily growing urban domestic markets. According to FAO statistics, the production of potatoes in Uganda (2000) was approximately 450,000 mt, produced on approximately 65,000 ha with an average yield of 7 mt / ha.