Manufacturers should improve the packaging of their products in order to take advantage of a bigger market, the Uganda Manufacturers Association Executive Director, Sebaggala Kigozi, has advised. "Poor packaging is the reason some of our local products spend a longer time on shelves or don't make it beyond the Ugandan borders. If our products are packaged well, they will attract not only the local market but also penetrate the global market more."
Sebaggala was recently addressing the media during a tour of Riley Packaging, one of the largest packaging companies in the country. The aim of the tour, organized by the Uganda Manufacturers Association, was to find out industry challenges, and lobby government for intervention from an informed point of view.
There is a general belief in Uganda that most beautifully packaged products on the market always come from overseas. Sebaggala, however, dismissed this saying that Ugandans also manufacture quality packaging materials. There are more than 16 packaging companies in the country engaged in all sorts of materials: corrugated cardboard boxes, woven polypropylene sacks, paper, tin and plastic packaging materials.
These companies face huge challenges, though, especially when it comes to importation of raw materials. "Uganda is a landlocked country; so, the cost of production is inevitably high as most of the raw materials we use are imported. We import from as far as Europe and Asia, which is expensive," Vipul Desai, the General Manager of Riley Packaging company, said.
Sebaggala advised local industries to start sourcing for raw materials within the country in order to avoid importation costs.