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Sh1.3b earmarked for agricultural business initiatives

By Farooq Kasule

Added 16th June 2019 05:14 PM

A total of $3.3 million dollars has been committed with $1.7 million so far disbursed

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NSSF’s managing director Richard Byarugaba. File Photo

A total of $3.3 million dollars has been committed with $1.7 million so far disbursed

Yield Uganda Investment Fund has committed sh1.3b to agricultural business Initiative and Chemiphar Uganda limited analytical laboratory to boost their performance.

The funding was secured by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) from the European Union (EU).

The Investment is majorly to enhance the company’s capacity to meet the growing local demand for quality and efficient laboratory testing services in addition to fulfilment of increasing growth of Uganda’s exports and standards.

Chemiphar is an internationally analytical laboratory in the city suburbs of Kansanga.

Its core business is to provide testing, and inspection services to SME businesses operating in food and beverages, agro-products, environment, pharmaceutical and cosmetics as well as agricultural seeds.

Chemiphar acts as an enabler to agri-businesses which are required to meet international standards for both export and local certification of their processed and value-added products.

Annick Uytterhaegen, the chief executive officer of Chemiphar said the grant was a big boost in achieving their objectives.

“For more than 20 years, Chemiphar is grateful to its international accreditations which have helped industries to export their products like fish, honey, vanilla, cocoa among others to the world. But we sometimes had to navigate by winds and tides because quality comes at a cost,” said Uytterhaegen.

Adding, “It is great to know that our efforts have been recognized and that we will receive support to be able to better perform our work, to create awareness about the importance of quality standards in the country and to continue focusing on our mission.”

European Union Ambassador to Uganda Attilio Pacifici said the grant is a practical example of progressive partnerships between Europe and Africa.

“This investment reflects the new Europe-Africa Alliance for sustainable Investments and Jobs which aim at promoting inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development in Africa,” Pacifici said.

Lakshmi Moola, the IFAD Country programme manager for Uganda said they believe Chemiphar will play an important role in supporting Uganda’s Agriculture SMEs, by providing modern testing facilities, helping them unlock important markets for the producers and smallholder farmers.

NSSF’s managing director, Richard Byarugaba said the investment in Chemiphar was timely because Chemiphar is the only international accredited laboratory in Uganda and as such plays a critical role in clearing agricultural products for exports from Uganda, both to the region and beyond.

He disclosed that a total of $3.3 million dollars has been committed with $1.7 million so far disbursed through the Yield Fund to entities that are focused on value addition within the Ugandan agricultural sector.

Dr Edward Isingoma Matsiko, PCP Partner responsible for the investment transaction said, “As a country, Uganda has had a number of challenges with exports including bans like the renowned fish ban which, thanks to Chemiphar, was lifted in 2001. Since then, Chemiphar as a business has been an enabler in ensuring that the quality and standards of what the country trades locally and exports are done thoroughly.”

“There is no doubt that the resilience, passion and expertise of Chemiphar’s team will continue growing to this effect. We are excited at being a part of the company’s expansion and growth efforts,” he added.

Francis Chesang, said aBi’s commitment to supporting Chemiphar is realizing its objective of enhancing its analytical capacity to facilitate food safety, quality and compliance with internationally accepted standards to spur exports while guaranteeing the safety of the consumer.

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