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Shs26bn Soroti Fruit Factory Ready For Opening

The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has said, the long awaited Soroti Fruit Factory is now ready.

While touring the factory premises yesterday in Soroti District, the Minister said the $7 million (Shs26bn) fruit factory is ready for commissioning, and it will soon be opened by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The factory is expected to operate 16 hours a day when it kicks off its operations.

However, the Minister is worried over the ability of farmers in the area to provide enough fruits for the factory.

“The factory is here but now the question is; will farmers in this area be able to supply fruits needed by the factory? The question goes to you the leaders, mobilize your farmers into groups, we want constant supply. The President will soon come for commissioning of factory but it will embarrass us if we fail to supply the fruits needed,” Ssempijja said.

Minister Ssempijja tasting a mango

He directed NARO to work with farmers in the area to get good varieties, and leaders to work with extension workers in the district to help the farmers benefit from the factory.

Soroti District Chairperson, Micheal Egunyu thanked the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries for ensuring farmers from Eastern Uganda also benefit from Government through this factory. He assured the Minister of constant supply of fruits from the farmers.

“This factory is not only going to benefit people of Soroti, it is for the entire Eastern Uganda, and I request you Hon. Minister that, let the factory be opened as soon as possible because farmers are ready to supply the factory with the amount of fruits needed for it operate,” Egunyu said.

He begged the Ministry of Agriculture to put much emphasis on irrigation, adding that Teso area experiences long dry spells yet oranges need a lot of water to survive.

The Minister was accompanied by MAAIF`s Permanent Secretary, Pius Wakabi Kasaija, Executive Director NAADS, Sammuel Mugasi, Commissioner Crop Protection, Mr. Stephen Byantwale and officials from NARO.

The construction of Soroti fruit factory began in April 2015, and it is expected to consume at least six metric tonnes of oranges and mangos daily.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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