Uganda’s horticultural industry is rapidly growing, significantly contributing to the country’s economy. With fertile soils and ample rainfall, Uganda produces a wide range of horticultural crops year-round without the need for irrigation or fertilizers.

This sector is vital for increasing rural incomes, improving nutrition, diversifying exports, and creating employment, particularly for the youth.

Against this background, Gudie Leisure Farm has organized a horticulture symposium on June 4 at their premises in Najjera. This event aims to bring together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and experts to discuss the latest trends, innovations, and opportunities in the horticulture sector.

Prof. Naiga Basaza, Managing Director of Gudie Leisure Farm, emphasized Uganda’s immense potential for horticultural crop production, making this event timely and essential for industry growth.

“This symposium will address the potential for further growth and explore how the horticulture industry can contribute to the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” she stated.

Prof. Basaza also noted that, given the National Horticultural Research Program’s (NHRP) focus on the integrated management of field crops, fruits, and vegetables, the symposium will allow participants to learn about new post-harvest and quality management technologies developed by NARO.

A study published in The Lancet (Afshin et al., 2019) revealed that, on average, people consume only about two-thirds of the recommended minimum amounts of fruits and vegetables. Consumption varies significantly, with people in Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East consuming slightly more than the recommended minimum, while those in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania consume only about one-third. Caribbean residents consume the most fruit, while those in southern Africa consume the least.

The study further indicated that insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables causes approximately 14% of deaths from gastrointestinal cancer, 11% from ischemic heart disease, and 9% from stroke worldwide.

Anicia Nabukenya, CEO of Gudie Nutraceutical Industry, highlighted the low entry barriers in horticulture and urged youth to attend the symposium.

“This event will educate participants on cultivation and sales, as well as on making products like jams and sauces,” she said.

Sylvia Murungi, a young agri-preneur, shared her positive experience with horticulture, emphasizing its quick growth and income benefits. She encouraged fellow youth to attend the symposium to learn more.

Fruits and vegetables are essential for health, providing vital nutrients such as vitamins, blood glucose, potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Kimera Abdul is a Senior Journalist with Plus News Uganda. He identifies as an adaptable and enthusiastic individual who works to inspire generations. He posses a Diploma and Broadcast journalism and has...

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