UGANDA – The Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) is set to see the commissioning of Soroti Fruit Factory and Atiak Sugar Factory following the continued investment into the country’s agricultural chain.
According to the Monitor, farmers in Soroti have embarked into fruit farming in order to supply the US$12.9 million worth factory upon completion.
Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives said that Soroti Fruit Factory will be commissioned before the end of the year by President Museveni.
“After independence celebrations, we will commission the factory. The President himself will be here to commission the factory.”
The fruit processing plant is an initiative of the government, with the assistance of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), working in partnership with the Teso Tropical Fruit Growers Cooperative Union (TETFGCU).
The trio’s decision to establish a fruit processing factory in Soroti District seeks to utilise the abundant citrus fruit in the region.
According to the main investor of the Atiak Sugar Factory, Horyal Investment Holdings Company (HIHC), the project is still in its first phase and will be operational by April next year.
Upon completion, Atiak factory has been valued to cost the investors approximately US$240.2 million.
UDC, the government’s investment and development arm, bought 32% shares into Atiak Sugar Factory equivalent to US$16.68 million as a move to support industrialisation in the country.
The first phase of the project involves the establishment of a Greenfield sugar factory with a daily crushing capacity of 1,650 tonnes.
Additionally, a sugar cane plantation of 7,000 hectares as a nucleus estate and 8000 hectares by the independent sugar cane farmers to supply the factory with cane will also be established.
Sugar, power and molasses will be the main products of the first phase which will be channelled into the domestic and regional market.
According to the Atiak Sugar Project document, the factory will buy a tonne at US$32.22 resulting into a profit of US$966.58 per acre.
Construction of the Soroti fruit factory began in April 2015 and was scheduled for completion in May 2016 with commercialisation set to begin in November 2016.
However, the both projects have been encountering set-backs especially through financing, a challenge that has delayed their completion and caused loss of currency due to delayed commercialization.