15 October 2012

East Africa: Jobs Up for Grabs in Fresh Fruit Processing Plant

Over 1,000 locals including homeless young mothers are to get gainful employment following the setting up of a 5,000 acre fruit processing plant in Nwoya district.

The ministry of Local Government with support from the United Nations Centre for Development and Nwoya district local government have partnered with Delight Uganda limited to set up a fresh fruit processing factory in Nwoya.

Gideon Badaggawa the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) chief said the plant will not only increase exports of fresh fruits but also enhance value addition and boost production.

"We need to support local Ugandans to add value and we want people to add value from wherever they are," said Badaggawa.

Badaggawa who was handing over machinery worth Shs600m to Delight Uganda officials said exports can only be increased by adding value.

"You can't increase exports without adding value and you can't add value without increasing production. Increased production comes with commercialization," he said.

The machinery to be used for opening up the 5,000 acre land for mango, onions, carrots and water melon growing included a tractor, an excavator and a loader.

"The nucleus farm will act as a demonstration farm and will be used to provide hybrid seedlings and training of local people," said Badaggawa.

The machinery was supplied under the Business Uganda Development scheme (BUDS) and United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) cost sharing project which has a tune of 13m pounds.

The project aims to support the economic recovery under the Peace Recovery and Development Program that targets 55 districts across Uganda.

Juliana Omalla the managing director Delight Uganda said the firm will start exporting processed fresh fruits to Southern Sudan, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

"We have already grown 20 acres of carrots, over 50 acres of water melon and close to 2,000 acres of mangoes. We are embarking of growing of onions, and other fruits for export," she said.

She said the farm in Nwoya already has 200 acres of cassava targeting the Nile Breweries plant that will make alcohol from cassava starting next year.

Juliana said Delight was recognized with the machinery for being the first indigenous company to process juice in Uganda under the brand of Cheers.

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