NTUNGAMO – The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) has unveiled a pineapple factory in Ntungamo District.
The factory, which can produce 1,000 litres of juice per hour, was commissioned on Monday during a function in Nyamukana Town Council presided over by First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni.
The Director of UIRI, Prof. Charles Kwesiga, said Ntungamo District is renowned for abundant production of fruits, especially pineapples.
“This inspired us to support the community by setting up a processing facility to add value through the production of pineapple juice to avoid post-harvest losses. This will help to fight poverty and increase wealth because when you add value to pineapples, you are creating wealth. Adding value means that you are moving away from these open markets approach where you just sell products as they are from the garden. We are saying add value to those products and you will get more value for your efforts,’’ Prof Kwesiga said.
He added that commissioning the factory is part of the Institute’s initiative of taking technology to the people in accordance to the NDP 2 Plan to industrialize the nation.
Ms Museveni advised area residents to sell their pineapples to the factory so that they can gain more profits.
“Now that you have received the factory, your business will expand and your income as families will also increase. The President has talked about fighting poverty for a long time but it is a journey and he has been adding in money to boost people’s efforts and now you do not have an excuse,” she said.
“They were telling me that now people from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo come to buy pineapples and now that you have your own factory, it will give you competitive prices that you will sell to them (factory),” Ms Museveni added.
The minister of Science, Technology and innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, said the ministry will keep training people from the factory to ensure quality products and sustainability.
The factory will be managed by Nyakihanga Fruits and Vegetable Growers Co-operative Society Ltd.
The factory operates eight hours a day and producing 8,000 litres.