This week, Uganda’s president Museveni will commission the Teso Fruit Factory in Soroti district. The new factory will be processing between 12,000 and 25,000 tons of fruits per year as it slowly reaches full capacity.
The community in the Teso sub-region can finally smile, after waiting 4 years for the Soroti Fruit Factory to start working. The building plan has been an ongoing project since 2015 and many had started to raise alarm over its failure to start according to the schedule.
With four years of delays, the now government says the factory is ready for commissioning.
Trial tests have been done according to Ms Amelia Kyambadde, Trade, Industry and Cooperative Minister. She told fruit farmers, district leaders and MPs from the Teso sub-region during the tour of the factory last year.
Ms Kyambadde also said that as a ministry they have been restless over the issues regarding the fruit processing plant, pledging that she will not rest until the factory begins commercial production.
According to the Uganda Development Corporation, the government’s investment arm, the factory is now fully installed. All technical testing has been done as well, and the installation is ready to process fruits.
The fruit processing plant is an initiative of the government, with assistance of the Korea International Cooperation Agency, working in partnership with the Teso Tropical Fruit Growers Cooperative Union. The Sh 50 billion (€11.8 mln) factory was constructed in Soroti for strategic reasons, key among them, the abundant availability of fruits in the district and surrounding areas.
According to Kadondi, the plant will start with a single shift of about 8 hours, processing nearly 650,000 tonnes of oranges and 25,000 tonnes of mangoes annually. It will then move to a double shift and eventually to a 24 hour operation system in order to absorb supplies as well as meet market demand.