Government through NAADS to set up Fruit Processing Facility in Greater Masaka Region
The government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has commenced the process of establishing a fruit processing facility in the Greater Masaka Region, an initiative to promote agro-industrialization.
Since 2014, NAADS has supported the production of fruits mainly mangoes, pineapples, citrus, and passion fruits in different regions across the country through the distribution of planting materials and value addition facilities. The overall objective of the interventions is to commercialize the fruits sector by supporting increased production through the distribution of quality clean seedlings with high yields and that are tolerant to pests and diseases.
The Greater Masaka sub-region has greatly benefitted from the support from NAADS with over 7 million pineapple suckers distributed to farmers since 2014 in the districts of Masaka, Kalangala, Lwengo, Kyotera, Kalungu and Rakai. NAADS has also distributed over 3 million mango seedlings and over 4 million citrus seedlings in the region. Many farmers mainly the youth have benefited from the distribution of passion fruit seedlings.
The support from the government has resulted in an increase in the acreage and production of fruits in the region. Following the increased production of fruits in the region, farmers are experiencing a challenge of fluctuating prices and limited access to markets for their fresh fruits.
To address the above challenge, Government through NAADS is set to establish a factory in the region that will add value to the fruits produced in the region with the main focus on pineapples and mangoes. Apart from providing the much-needed value addition, the factory will provide a ready market to the fruit farmers in the region.
In the current Financial Year 2020/2021 Government released resources through NAADS to conduct a feasibility study and develop designs for the establishment of the factory.
Currently, NAADS is conducting a feasibility study in the region to establish the viability of the value addition facility. The study is expected to be completed by the end of September 2020 and when completed, it will establish the fruit production capacity of the region, the technical and economic feasibility as well as the suitable location of the factory.