Why you should invest in Vegetable and fruit farming

Currently the demand for fruits and vegetables from Uganda has been moderate and high for organic and value added products. However, most companies or producer associations exporting fresh fruits and vegetables from Uganda are small to medium with little or no investment capacity to scale up the production and take advantage of the market demand, and hence have been unable to explore the export of value added products currently on demand in Europe and other International markets. Most of the current exports have been in raw fruits and vegetables and largely to the wholesale markets where competition is growing and prices going down. Currently, there are over 15 companies exporting fresh fruits and vegetables largely to the EU and, to a less extent, to the COMESA region, although the latter is largely informal. On average, the existing companies each exports 2 – 15 tonnes of fresh fruits per week, largely to the wholesale markets in Europe.
Uganda’s competitiveness rests with soils, climate, irrigation opportunities, government policies and labour factor prices. Uganda has unmatched comparative advantage for growing fruits and vegetables due to its warm, less humid tropical climate, plentiful rainfall and vast opportunities for irrigation.  Soils of pH 5 to 6.5 are most ideal for the fruits (such as oranges, mangoes and pineapples) and vast areas of this type obtain in Uganda. These soils are rare in the world.  Uganda’s climate is summer all year round: moderate temperatures (15 -30ºC) throughout the year with a bi-modal rainfall pattern. The soils have low levels of contamination due to prolonged periods of minimal use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides creating natural quasi-organic conditions in most areas. The November to February harvest period in Uganda coincides with the northern hemisphere winter – a period of peak demand for fresh fruits and vegetables in Europe.
Suitable Government owned land free of squatters, for commercial estate type production, is available at Odina former citrus farm (950 hectares) and Labori former irrigation scheme (800 ha). Finally Government policy is highly supportive to fruit production as a strategic export. All schemes put together provide a total of over 3000 hectares (Odino, Ongino, Labori, and Mobuku). One additional point which favours Uganda is the fact that, overtime, the key European countries re-exporting fruit products into Africa will increasingly have to produce without EU subsidies.
 Rationale behind the proposed project
There is plenty of land in the country that can be devoted to fruit farming. The government owned irrigation schemes can provide ample land. Besides there is an increasing number of out growers complimenting the raw material supply effort.  The out growers however may be supported with skills, implements. An investor in fruit farming has the option of irrigating the fruit farms to ensure all year round production.
The demand for fresh fruits on a year-round   basis is increasing, and consumers are willing to pay higher prices for out-of-season fresh fruits.  Given EU market entry barriers, Uganda would rather target domestic, border and regional markets. Currently, there is an existing trade within the region supplying Southern Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda. The current production levels of fruits are yet to satisfy the domestic, border and regional demand. It is strategic to strengthen the existing trade which is not satisfied and yet expanding.
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  1. gourd

    The truism of the netting {bag|biz

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