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UGX 8bn Arua Value Addition Plant Lies Idle

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Sharon Tiko, a produce dealer in Lobida food market, says that they are yet to see the relevance of the facility ever since it was commissioned by the president.
A section of the multi-billion-shilling Value Addition plant in Arua City

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The multi-billion-Shillings Value Addition plant in Arua City is lying idle nearly two years after being commissioned by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in October 2020.

Located in Chongoloya cell, Awindiri ward, the plant was a component of the Arua Main Market built under the Market and Agriculture Trade Improvement (MATIP- II) program.

It was established to enable farmers in West Nile add value to their cereals and be able to sell at a higher price instead of selling raw products at a low cost. The plant has machines for packaging the finished products for sale in the main market and for export.

However, Margret Deboru, a farmer in Arua city says that they still take their raw products to the market due to the delayed operationalization of the facility. Sharon Tiko, a produce dealer in Lobida food market, says that they are yet to see the relevance of the facility ever since it was commissioned by the president.

According to Arua city officials, the 500 metric tons capacity value addition center can mill up to 1000 bags of different crops per day when in full operation. But Sam Wadri Nyakua, the mayor of Arua city has blamed the delayed operationalization of the plant on the lack of guidelines that were supposed to be issued by the ministry of Local government.

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Evelyn Anite, the state minister of finance in charge of privatization and investment has pledged to follow up the matter with the ministry of Local government.

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Grace Kwiyucwiny, the State Minister for Northern Uganda has appealed to the people of West Nile to increase farming to meet the demand of the facility once it becomes operational. She says the high processing capacity of the plant demands a lot from farmers who need to venture into commercial farming.

“Are the cereals there to take to the factory. We have to take this very serious that we are going to use it once it is open,” she noted. Some of the crops meant for value addition at the facility include beans, sorghum, millet, maize and cassava. 

The facility, which is designed to last for more than 30 years on routine operation and maintenance, was constructed by Hebei Pingle Flour Machinery Group Limited.

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