The United Kingdom (UK) has invested approximately US $156m into Uganda’s agriculture sector. These funds are projected to help boost crop production and post-harvest handling.
The joint venture deal was signed between the Agriculture ministry and two UK firms Alvan Blanch Development Company, and Colas Ltd. According to media reports, the deal will serve to aid in the manufacture, supply, and installation of multiple post-harvest processing systems across the country. The respective signatories were Uganda’s Agriculture ministry permanent secretary Pius Wakabi and Mr Lars Peter Jesensen of Colas Ltd.
The Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja commended the collaboration, saying it will supplement already-initiated government programs. This, he added, is for purposes of helping the private sector increase investment in agriculture processing and value addition.
Mr. Ssempijja explained that the partnership is projected to improve agricultural produce through installation of value addition facilities. As such, the ministry will oversee the establishment of collection centres for priority commodities by buying and installing 112 batch drying, cleaning and grading systems of grains, and cereals across the country.
The British High Commissioner Peter West said the UK government had previously given about US $295m for the construction of Kabale airport to help quicken exportation of agricultural produce.
The ministry, through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) programme plans to commit US $14m to set up grain, fruit and feeds processing plants in the districts of Yumbe, Kapeeka, Nwoya, and Kamwenge in the coming financial year.
Mr Ssempijja also explained that the ministry is implementing the five-year Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan that aims to contribute towards the overall development goal of the country attaining a middle-income status by the year 2020.