The government of Uganda has entered a joint deal with that of South Korea which will see a multi-billion fruit processing factory established in Teso region.
The US$7.4 million is aimed at promoting industrial growth, income diversification and increasing household incomes in the region.
It will also help equip Ugandans with hands-on experience while operating the modern processing equipment at the factory.
South Korea is funding the fruit plant project through its central development aid agency, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Her share will be used to establish a turnkey fruit processing factory in order to support value addition in fruit processing.
On her part, Uganda will contribute US$2.2 million through Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).
The US$2.2 million will be spent on provision of water, electricity, road network, construction of waste treatment plant and required studies for the project, among others.
The partnership was put on pen and paper at Uganda's ministry of finance, planning and economic development Thursday.
KOICA resident representative, Kang Younhwa and finance ministry's permanent secretary, Christopher Kassami, signed the memorandum of understanding on behalf of their governments.
Also present at the ceremony was Chargè d'affaires of South Korea, PARK, Jongdae and Caretaker CEO of UDC, Eng. Samuel Ssenkungu.
KOICA in collaboration with UDC is expected to construct the factory structures, provide and install equipment and materials necessary for the factory operation.
The South Korean aid agency is also expected to conduct invitational training of five marketing planners and five hands-on workers for two weeks and three months respectively in Korea.
The ten intended recruits will share and transfer technical knowledge and experience of operating the factory.
KOICA will dispatch Korean experts (marketing planners and factory operators) to implement, supervise and give technical assistance regarding the implementation of the Project.
Teso region is one of the leading producers of citrus fruits in Uganda, with approximately three million fruit trees, according to Uganda's national agricultural production data.
The estimated production potential is about 600,000 metric tons of fruit per year.
Despite this potential, the region has not seen any investment in fruit processing, whether led by the private sector or the public sector. Therefore, the project is seen as a timely one for Uganda.
Completion of the factory is expected in 2014.