Delay to Operationalize Fruit Factory Angers Teso Farmers

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In short
The factory worth 40 billion shillings was constructed at the Uganda Investment Authority-UIA industrial park in Arapai Sub County -Soroti district. It was expected to be operational by early this year.

 
The delay to operationalize the Teso fruit factory has angered Citrus fruits farmers in Teso sub region.

The factory worth 40 billion shillings was constructed at the Uganda Investment Authority-UIA industrial park in Arapai Sub County -Soroti district. It was expected to be operational by early this year. However up to date, construction works are on-going, causing concerns from farmers.

They say that the government should explain why the factory has delayed to be completed, which has resulted to losses since they can't find market for their fruits.

Stephen Elieru Engwau, one of the farmers in Arapai Sub County, who owns 11 acres of oranges and mangoes, says fruit flies have completely destroyed his mangoes and he is only surviving on oranges.

He says that due to delays to open the factory, Engwau is forced to sell his bags of oranges to middlemen coming from Kenya at 50,000 to 70,000 shillings a bag.

He hopes that when the factory opens, the prices might become better for farmers.

Richard Okello, one of the farmers in Gweri Sub County in Soroti district, says he has waited for the opening of the factory for years and it has made him devise his own ways of locally marketing his oranges, papaws and other fruits.

"I have variety of oranges, so I don't just sit at home but I have to carry and ride my bicycle to various markets at Soroti town.

Amelia Kyambadde, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, who met the farmers in Soroti town on Wednesday, urged the farmers to be patient. Kyambadde, who did not explain the delay, said that the factory will be opened in August by President Museveni and will start operations immediately.

The farmers also told Kyambadde that the government should also recruit extension workers to offer technical advice to farmers on how to protect and control pests and diseases that have destroyed the fruit gardens.
 

 

Tagged with: pests and diseases