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Museveni to commission Soroti fruit factory

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 9th April 2019 05:28 PM

It is expected to consume at least six metric tonnes of oranges and mangoes daily

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Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde revealed that the factory will be commissioned on Saturday. Photo by Ivan Kabuye

It is expected to consume at least six metric tonnes of oranges and mangoes daily

Government is set to commission the long-awaited Soroti Fruit Factory in Soroti district over the weekend, bringing to an end a four-year delay.

The shs48b new factory will be commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni on April 13, according to the minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde.

During a press conference at the ministry headquarters on Tuesday, Kyambadde said trials in the factory have already been done and farmers within the region are set to benefit.

The construction of the fruit factory began in April 2015 and was supposed to have been completed in 2016.

It is expected to consume at least six metric tonnes of oranges and mangoes daily.

The factory was constructed using a grant from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), with the Teso Tropical Fruit Union and government through Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) owning 20 per cent and 80 per cent shares respectively.

UDC is “the development and investment arm of government with the mandate to promote and facilitate the industrial and economic development of Uganda.”

During the commissioning of the factory, the President is also expected to launch the factory logo.

Patrick Birungi, the UDC executive director says the factory is meant to benefit from and use up the large quantities of mangoes and fruits grown in the area.

Teso region comprises of the districts of; Soroti, Kumi, Bukedea, Katakwi, Amuria, Serere, Ngora and Kaberamaido and is the leading producer of citrus fruits in the country.

The region has approximately three million fruit trees with a potential production of 600,000 metric tonnes of fruit per year.

Despite this potential, Teso region has not seen any investments in fruit processing, whether public or private sector led.

The factory comes as a relief to farmers who have been experiencing high post-harvest losses during peak production seasons.

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