• Added value

    Added value

    A juice-processing factory has been commissioned in western Uganda, signalling good news for local pineapple farmers.

    The UGX1.4 billion facility, located in the Ntungamo district was established by the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), which falls under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The factory will be managed by the Nyakihanga Fruits and Vegetable Growers Co-operative Society. Its aim, as reported by Africa Business Communities, is to add value through the production of fruit juice and reduce post-harvest losses.

    The factory will help local small-scale farmers from neighbouring districts (who usually sell their produce informally and ‘as is’) to achieve higher profits and increase household incomes by supplying their stock to the factory.

    According to co-operative chairperson Bernard Mugume, farmers typically sell a (whole, unprocessed) 2 kg pineapple for around UGX1 000. However, a pineapple of that size can produce three 500 ml bottles of juice, sold at UGX2 000 each. ‘The cost of production is UGX4 320, which means that a farmer will get UGX1 680 from one pineapple fruit,’ he says.

    UIRI director Charles Kwesiga adds that the juice-processing facility will help extend ‘the fruit’s shelf life by keeping [it] in cold rooms. We have the capacity and knowledge to make sure that what [is being produced] is of high quality’.

    28 January 2020
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images