The government has cited poor road networks and the absence of electricity as the primary reasons behind the delayed establishment of a fruit factory in Lolyango Village, Lungulu Sub County, Nwoya District.
In 2018, President Yoweri Museveni directed the Uganda Development Cooperation (UDC), facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, to establish a fruit factory in Lolyango Village under the name Delight Uganda Limited. The President’s vision was to ensure that the substantial volume of fruits grown by local farmers in the district would not go to waste.
Following this directive, the government supplied locals in the area with seedlings to sustain fruit production for the factory once its construction was completed. However, nearly five years later, the project has not commenced, leaving over 10,000 farmers burdened with numerous fruit trees and facing losses in maintenance.
During an interview with our reporter, State Minister for Agriculture Fred Bwino explained that the Uganda Development Cooperation (UDC) had conducted a feasibility study of the area. The study recommended that the factory could only be economically viable if road linkages were established with surrounding areas. Minister Bwino emphasized that the government remains committed to establishing the factory but stressed the importance of addressing the road network issues and electricity challenges in the area first.
Dr. Julian Adyeri Omalla, the Executive Director of Delight Uganda Limited, where the factory is intended to be established, expressed the financial losses incurred due to the delay. She estimated seasonal losses of approximately 850 million shillings in managing her vast 17,000 acres of guava, mango, and jackfruit farms, all set up in anticipation of the factory.
Vincent Langole, the advisor to the board of fruit growers in Nwoya District, emphasized that the absence of the factory and a ready market had turned fruits into a liability for farmers. Langole, who manages 20 acres of fruit gardens, reported annual losses of 30 to 40 million shillings in maintaining his orchards. In extreme cases, he has been forced to collect and bury ripe fruits.
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Emmanuel Orach, the Nwoya District chairperson, revealed that the road connecting the proposed factory site to the community has now been opened, underscoring the urgency of expediting the factory’s establishment. The construction of the factory requires a minimum of 17 billion Shillings.