Exclusive interview about agribusiness in Northern Uganda.
During an exclusive interview with NTV, Mr. Basil Ajer, Director SME introduced the role of UIA as an investment promotional agency for the country and identified agribusiness as one of the key sectors that attract investors. Out of the 5100 investors, close to 174 are located in Northern Uganda and about 25% of the investors are involved in agro processing
“Knowing the potential of Northern Uganda especially in areas like fruit trees, oil seed crops, honey we are giving a specific focus to Northern Uganda by establishing industrial parks in the specified places of Lira, Gulu and Arua to encourage value addition.” He said.
The huge potential in fruit production and oil seed tree growing spurred into the establishment of a fruit factories in northern Uganda by different investors like mount mero, mukwano,(Lira and kiryandongo) Rural Agricultural Developments Company, all involved in adding value to oil seed crops and fruits.
He said that since land is a key factor of production and setting up of a project, UIA encourages investors to always work with the relevant local authorities to acquire land from the local people. “In rare cases, we introduce the investors to local authorities through our formed District Investment Committees (DICs) in the lango, and acholi regions.” He added.
He further elaborated on the preliminary procedures and information given to the potential investor before being issues a license i.e. how much investment will be brought into the country, how many locals are to be employed, identify the sector of interest and more guiding information.
Investment promotion is everybody’s role although UIA is the chief agency. Mr. Basil said that investment promotion is carried out with support from local communities, different stakeholders, politicians and district authorities. He encouraged local communities to convert land to productivity in order to offer employment opportunities and improve the Ugandan economy