They have installed a manual fruit press machine that produces over 50 liters of juice every week and is sold under the sunrise juice label.
Pineapple farmers under Sunrise Development Association in Luweero district have set up a fruit processing plant worth shillings 10 million to package their products to boost their incomes. They have installed a manual fruit press machine that produces over 50 liters of juice every week and is sold under the sunrise juice label. Besides, the pineapple juice the farmers also extract package lemon juice. The juice plant operates from small room.
Harriet Namusoke, a member of the association says that they decided to process and package their juice earn more money and avoid being exploited by traders. She explains that previously, traders from Kampala would buy four pineapples at shillings 2000 and sell each of the pineapples in the city at shillings 2500. James Kakande, another farmer says that sometimes, the pineapple rots in the garden as they try to chase the few buyers.
He however, explains that by installing the processing machine they will able to get value from their pineapples. Kakande says that currently he sells over 200 pineapples to the plant and earns higher compared to when he sold his produce to middlemen. Moses Ssonko, the chairperson Sunrise Development Association says that currently they supply juice to schools, local governments and shops in Luweero town.
He explains that 750 mill liter pack goes for shillings 4000. Ssonko says that their production is still low compared to the demand, which he attributes to lack of sufficient capital and skilled labor. He explains that they need over 20 million shillings to buy quality fruit press as well as rent a bigger house for production. He says that they have petitioned National Agriculture Advisory Services and district agriculture department to intervene so that they can increase production because they have the raw materials in plenty.
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Kidda Makubuya, the Luweero district NAADS Coordinator says that they operate on a tight budget and cannot help the farmers to attain the required machines. He however advises them to apply directly to the NAADS secretariat that funds such activities. The establishment of Sunrise Juice plant brings to 2, the number of juice plants operating in Luweero.
African Tropical Organic Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Exporters Limited (ATOPE Ltd) which is owned by Edith Wamara has been operating in the district for more than five years.
Recently, Wamara told URN that they were operating below capacity because of lack of funds to expand their production.
Statistics from Luweero Agriculture Department shows that 98 percent of the pineapples harvested from the 1800 acres of plantation are sold without any added value.
sunrise development association
naads and agriculture department
pineapple growing and value addition