By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni yesterday launched the commercial operations for Soroti’s Teju Fruit Factory in Arapai Sub-County, Aloet village in Soroti District where he advised the people of Teso Sub-Region to continue growing fruits because it is the medicine to get them out of household poverty and the venture commands global market as well.
“I encouraged the people of Teso who had small land to stop growing cotton and go for fruits, dairy farming and fish farming because they are the products that can give money on a small scale piece of land. Although it took longer, I am happy that the people of Teso got the message. I hear that you planted 8.2 million fruit trees. I can see them from above the ground,” he said
The launching ceremony for operations followed the earlier launching of the construction work on the factory, which the President did in September 2014. The factory that was financed by the Government of Uganda through the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) while the Korean National Cooperation Agency (KOICA) contributed US$7.4 million.
#Soroti Fruit Factory employs over 1000 Ugandans and yet use locally grown fruits to produce a refreshing #TejuJuice. It's unfortunate most media houses have ignored mega milestones in Teso subregion: #SecuringYourFuture #SevoLution pic.twitter.com/1cTh7Po7OT
— Daraus Bahikire (@DarausBahikire) November 22, 2020
According to Member of Parliament Aspirant (N.R.M) -2020 Bukoto Mid-West, Lwengo District Daraus Bahikire, the factory employs over 1000 Ugandans and use locally grown fruits to produce a refreshing Teju Juice.
The Spy Uganda has since learnt that the factory currently produces 96 metric tonnes of mango and orange juice per day but its full operation employs 250 people directly in the factory and over two million in the production chain links in the Teso Sub-Region.
On the issue of irrigation, President Museveni said that there was a need to encourage micro-irrigation at the village level adding that water would be drawn from rivers and boreholes that would help to fight drought conditions in the region.
Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Minister, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde said that the launching of the fruit factory was a milestone in the revival of the economy. She added that the facility was the fulfilment of the NRM Manifesto of 2006. She thanked President Museveni for his support and political will.
The Ambassador of South Korea to Uganda, Mr. Kim You-Churl thanked the Government of Uganda for putting confidence in his country as a partner in the establishment of the factory.
“The Korean experts carefully studied the project and put them in line with the goals of Uganda,” he said.
He said that the establishment of the factory will not only bring more jobs but will also increase the productivity of farmers and bilateral relations. He reiterated that it was the wish of the South Korean Government to share the profits made from the factory with the farmers.
According to the Chairperson of UDC, Mr. Ham Mugenyi, the factory is a big investment to the people of Teso and Uganda. He reiterated that it would help boost the household incomes of people in Teso by offering jobs both directly and indirectly.