By Samuel Sanya
Sarah Kataike the state minister for Luweero triangle has commissioned a sh2b bottling plant in Kawempe in a move to add value to Uganda’s agricultural products.
The factory is equipped with machines to process fresh fruit into bottled juice.
Its main source of raw material is the recently commissioned Bulemezi food processing plant in Kapeeka, Nakaseke.
The J&S bottling company is currently producing tomato sauce, mango juice and chili sauce from locally procured raw materials.
“Uganda’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. This factory is the next step in value addition,” Kataike, who represented President Yoweri Museveni, said at Kawempe Muslim Primary School grounds after commissioning the factory.
“We have been losing a lot by exporting unprocessed agricultural products. Value addition will keep the jobs and money in the country,” she added.
According to Shadrack Nzeire, one of the proprietors of the J&S bottling plant, the company has contracted 300 out-growers in the Kapeeka region and has given them seedlings.
“Our main aim is to create jobs for the youth. Ugandans should buy Ugandan products as this will in turn lead to more jobs and boost incomes of farmers,” he said.
Nzeire noted that the Uganda Industrial Research Institute was instrumental in developing the quality of products they manufacture.
Nzeire teamed up with Stephen Wamala and Jackson Kajoba to start the plant. The company employs 30 workers and bottles a range of fruit juices under the ‘Makula’ brand name.
Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh, commended Wamala for returning from the Diaspora with the processing and packaging equipment.
He urged the youth to emulate Wamala and have the right attitude towards work as this is the key to wealth creation.