Government will support Soroti fruit factory to its full potential – Tumwebaze

Hon. Frank Tumwebaze takes a tour of the Soroti Juice Making Facility

Uganda Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon Frank Tumwebaze has promised to activate policies that will help the Soroti Fruit factory reach its full potential.  The minister pledged this while touring the factory located in Soroti.  “As a Ministry, we can help you from a policy perspective. This will however require the involvement of other Ministries to handle issues to do with taxes,” Hon Tumwebaze said. 

The Minister was reacting to complaints by the Chief Executive Officer of Soroti Fruits factory, Mr Douglas Kakyukyu Ndawula who said that while they could have earned more revenue from selling fruit concentrates, soft drink companies are opting to import. “We have reached out to Coca-Cola, Riham Cola and other players in the industry but still they continue to import., “Mr Ndawula said. 

The factory, which was the brainchild of Teso Tropical Fruit Cooperative Union (TEFCU), was launched in April 2019, with the main objective of tapping into the plentiful citrus fruits grown in Teso sub-region and for profitable production of oranges and mangoes. The factory’s mango line hasn’t been working recently but during Hon Tumwebaze’s visit he was assured by Mr Ndawula it’s being fixed and it will be operational soon.

“It’s only the orange line that has been functional but as you can see the mango line is being fixed,” Mr Ndawula said pointing at technicians fixing the line. Another challenge that would be addressed through additional funding Mr Ndawula said, was the production line which he said is small thereby leaving them uncompetitive. “What we produce in 48 hours, our competitors do it in just a few minutes. We need to improve our production capabilities if we are to turn this into a big commercial entity,” he said.  

Hon Tumwebaze, accompanied by Hon Hellen Adoa, the State Minister for Fisheries, advised Soroti Fruit Factory to leverage state-owned media houses to advertise their products.   In October 2019, Soroti Fruit Factory produced its first processed product, the Teso Juice christened ‘Teju’ and Mr Ndawula told the minister that they get mangoes from Kasese and oranges from the districts that make up Teso sub-region.

Share your views about this story

Related stories

Traders charged with smuggling 350 bags of maize into Kenya

Three businessmen have been charged before Busia Law courts Senior Principal Magistrate Hon. Phoebe Kulecho with counts relating to smuggling of 350 bags of maize worth Kshs 800,000 in taxes. Joseph Kiprono  and Mugisha Moses  were charged both jointly while Issa Abuneri Ingati separately faced similar charges of being in possession of uncustomed goods contrary to section 200(d)iii as read with section 210 and 211 of the EACCMA,2004 and that of conveying uncustomed goods contrary to section 199 (b) as read with section 199(c|) EACCMA,2004. Joseph and Mugisha were intercepted by Adungosi Police Station Officers while transporting 200 bags of uncustomed maize worth Kshs 460,000 in taxes on 9th March this year at Among’ura- Amaase Murram road Teso South within Busia County. The accused persons denied the offences and were each released on bond of Kshs 200,000 or bail of Kshs 100,000. Their case will be heard on 6th May 2021 and mention on the 25th March 2021.

Read more »

Subscribe to Kilimo News

Get the latest agriculture news in East Africa