Leaders in the Mid-western region have been tasked to embrace the National Oil Seeds Project aimed at supporting the oil seed value chain development. 

The project which is under the Ministry of Agriculture is aimed at accelerating commercialization in key oil seeds value chains and thereby improving the livelihoods and resilience of the smallholders engaged in oil seed production.  

Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Industry while meeting leaders on Thursday at Hoima Resort hotel said that the project will help enhance the efficiency of farm operations through the provision of dedicated extension services to clustered farmers involved in oilseed production.

He added that through the project they hope to increase oil production in the country as well as improve incomes for the people and enhance revenue for the government.    

According to Rwamirama, the national output of vegetable oil is estimated at 84,000 Metric tons with oil palm contributing 44,000 Metric tons and oilseeds 40,000 Mt stating that this is significantly short of the country’s requirement estimated at 450,000 MT annually.     

He explains that the deficit of 366,000MT is covered through imports which costs the country approximately USD300Million.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the International Trade Center (ITC) of the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization, for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020, Uganda imported 322,225MT, 352,535MT, and 381,320 MT of vegetable oil worth US$248Million, $210 Million and $290 Million respectively.   

Rwamirama says domestic Revenue in the Edible Oils Market amounts to US$0.49bn in 2024 and that the market is expected to grow annually by 10.48% between 2024 and 2028. 

Rwamirama further stated that edible oil is strategic to Uganda’s economy because it offers livelihood to several actors involved in the value chain. He says, however, the sub-sector is constrained by several factors that require targeted interventions. 

The minister says, that in Uganda, there are over 112 oil milling plants that are operating at a capacity of only   48% and still require crushing material.

He says under the National Oil Seeds project, the government is going to construct 2,500km of community market access roads to link farmers to markets.

Christoper Gumusiriza, the Project Coordinator National Oil Seeds Project says all the required paperwork for the road construction works has been finished and that soon the construction works will kick off.

Cosmas Byaruhanga the LCV Chairperson for Masindi district says that through the project, they hope to improve on some of the community access roads which are in a poor state due to limited funding. 

Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka, the LCV Chairperson for Nakaseke noted that currently several districts are struggling to maintain the district roads but the project has a component of opening up market access roads for the farmers which is a sigh of relief to local government.

Charles Kumakech Oluba, the Chief Administrative officer-CAO Hoima applauded the government for the initiative stating that the project is timely as many districts are financially constrained and do not have resources to work on most access roads.

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