BY JOHNISANI OCAKACON
KAMPALA: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2021
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animals Industry and Fisheries MAAIF) has hammered a deal to partner with Dubai based Elite Agro Company to promote Tea growing in Uganda.
Elite Agro is one of the leading producers and distributors of daily fresh Vegetables and fruits in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with focus of growing, sourcing, importing and marketing a wide range of high quality agricultural products through world-class technology with use of natural resources conserving water, energy and land.
Frank K Tumwebaze, Minister for Agriculture while in Dubai for Expo 2020 said Elite Agro will set up a tea factory in South Western Uganda which will be one of the tea growing areas and they are also prospecting in Kisoro for a potato factory and in Kibimba for rice.
He noted: “As a government we have engaged prospective investors and our line ministry to see it work for Uganda as some of our achievements in the presence of the president Kaguta Museveni in Dubai.”
In 2018, Uganda produced 50 million kilograms of tea, making it the second largest producer in Africa after Kenya.
Tea is largely grown along the Lake Victoria crescent, the lower slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountain (1200-1800 metres above altitude), above the Western Rift Valley and in Zombo district in West Nile.
Tumwebaze who led the team from MAAIF to Dubai said they are engaging investors and exhibiting other agricultural products from Uganda like Coffee and organic produce.
He said Elite Agro is one of the agro-processing investors that has signed up for Uganda and their vast farms (greenhouses and dairy) are phenomenal and amazing as their farming is market driven and profitable.
“We need to concentrate on educating our people to start farming with a purpose that is meeting the market needs. The international demand for our food stuffs is huge and all we need to do is compliance to standards, Quality, quantity and consistence,” he said.
Maj. Gen. David Kasura Kyomukama, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries while addressing the Trade, Investment and Tourism Forum in Dubai said they are welcoming investors into Uganda’s agricultural sector which now contributes over 26.2% of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product and is growing at a rate of 2.6% per annum, fetching up to 53% of export revenues over 10 years.
Kyomukama said with Horticulture, Uganda still has numerous opportunities for the expansion of the Rose Industry, growing of other horticulture plants other than roses, manufacture of greenhouse plastics and manufacture of packaging materials.
“Fruits and vegetables including packaging of fruits and vegetables, export of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and export of fruit concentrate with huge potential for citrus, pineapples, Mangoes, passion fruits, among others, organically produced,” he revealed.
He explained that with cotton and textiles, Uganda currently has potential to produce over 1,000,000 bales annually and there is an opportunity for high class textile manufacturing and mixed fibre production especially for the regional markets.
Kyomukama said that in the fisheries sub-sector, Uganda has 20% of its surface area covered by water with numerous opportunities for Aquaculture development like aquaculture parks, cage farming, fish feeds manufacture, fish breeding and dealing in premium species like cat fish, eel fish and others.