Kayunga Pineapple Factory to open in June 2020
The Government of Uganda through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in partnership with the private sector players is constructing a Pineapple juice factory to add value to the pineapple produced in the region.
The 12 metric ton per day factory is under construction in Kito village, Busaale Sub County in Kayunga district. Government through NAADS has so far injected shs.780m in this factory under the Public Private Sector partnership and the rest is contributed by the private sector partners including Semu Agro-tech Consultants Ltd and Entebbe Miracle Center Church.
During a monitoring visit to the construction site of the factory, the Chairman Board of Directors NAADS Robert Kibirango Galusanja said shs.660 million has been spent on procurement of juice processing equipment and shs.120 million on procuring a solar water pumping system for water for production at the factory.
“We procured the processing equipment and currently installation is ongoing. We expect the factory to start operations in April 2020 producing processed pineapple juice, pulp and dried pineapples mainly for export”, explained Kibirango.
Kibirango urged the farmers to produce more pineapples and supply the factory, and implored Semu Agro-tech Ltd which has 82% shares in the factory to give the farmers good prices amidst competition from the middlemen.
The Chairperson of Kayunga District Farmers Association (KADIFA) John Ssekkoko asked NAADS to supply the farmers with more pineapple suckers saying the current production is not enough to sustain the capacity of the factory. He said KADIFA working together with Kayunga District Local Government and Semu Agro-tech Ltd, they have mobilized more than 2000 pineapple farmers who have been prepared and are ready to supply the factory.
Jane Were, a Director and Manager for Nursery Operations in Semu Agro-tech Consultants assured the farmers of a ready market and good prices for their pineapples. She explained that the first phase of the factory will cost shs.1.38bn while the second phase which includes construction of raw material shades, production stores and the compound is estimated to cost approximately shs.700m.
The factory is expected to employ 20 to 30 people directly and between casual 100 and 150 casual workers. More than 20,000 pineapple farmers in Kayunga and neighboring districts are expected to benefit from this factory.
Kibirango explained to the farmers that starting with next financial year 2019/20, NAADS will implement the commodity cluster programme with Kayunga set to be part of the Pineapple Cluster where NAADS will prioritize the provision of agricultural inputs along the commodity value chain in a cluster. Under this arrangement, NAADS will concentrate on one particular commodity with emphasis on areas where Government has established value addition facilities.
He however cautioned leaders and farmers to desist from involving politics in agricultural programs saying every Ugandan is entitled to benefit from Government projects irrespective of their political affiliations.
Kayunga district is one of the leading pineapple producing districts in Uganda producing approximately 15,960 tons of pineapple in a single season.