Presentation by Hon Ruth Nankabirwa, Minister of State Fisheries
Hon Ruth Nakabirwa started her address by assuring investors that as the former minister of defence, Uganda is
very safe, stable and no more insurgences in Northern Uganda. She said in all parts of Uganda one can enjoy the
peace and security which is a major element for investors.
“Uganda feeds her people and has the potential to be the fruit basket of the world.” Hon Nankabirwa noted
She informed delegates that Uganda has a unique agro economic location lying right at the equator and has both
tropical and temperate climate. She said there is a rising demand in domestic, regional and international markets
for agricultural commodities. She added that since Uganda is a member of bigger markets, the East Africa
community, COMESA and others, this indicates that a vast market exists.“The legal framework is in place, the
micro-economic and macro-economic frameworks are very conducive for investment in addition to the supportive
research, technology development in areas of plant and stocking materials for crops, livestock, fish and animal biotechnology which exist.” She shared.
Hon. Nankabirwa informed delegates that availability of land is another opportunity for agriculture mechanisation
with plenty of fresh water for irrigation, fish and farming.
She listed the huge amount of fresh water inland as in Lake Victoria, Lake Albert and Lake Kyoga, all of which are
suitable for agriculture.
She outlined potential areas of investment as follows: Cotton, Cocoa, Coffee, and Tea, with high returns being
realised on marketing and processing of instant Coffee, Chocolate and branding of Uganda Tea. She said the
government has initiatives to boost the capacity of Coffee growth and they are also planting 100,000 seedling of
Coffee per region.
The sector of fruits and vegetables were also identified as virgin areas for local, regional and international
markets, including processing by adding value.
Floriculture, providing packaging materials and
green house facilities were also highlighted as areas of
Hon. Nankabirwa continued, “Grain, which includes Maize, Rice, and Wheat can be processed into food and byproducts like feeds for animals.” She added that honey processing is another opportunity where the local market is
vibrant as people have discovered the benefit of taking honey rather than sugar.
The Minister identified other areas as, starch from Cassava and other by-products which with value addition can
be packed for international market. She referred to Lord Sheikh’s speech where he talked about bananas and that
we need investors to take advantage and make products out of bananas like banana wine, juice and banana
fibrewhich can be used for textiles.
Turning to livestock, Hon. Nankabirwa said Uganda is producing only 1.8 billion litres of milk annually and this can
double with their investment as there are huge opportunities in processing and adding value to the by-products.
She gave an example of Uganda exporting animals to Sudan rather than exporting beef and have the by-products
for other value addition.
The last area she talked about is Fisherysector, which she said presents vast opportunity. She informed delegates
that Uganda is now licensing investors to get plots on Lake Victoria to carry out cage farming and are encouraging
establishment of aqua culture park, which will be a village comprising of ponds, hatcheries and cold-rooms.This
will enable those adding value to have a one stop point for their processing plants.
She said Uganda needs investors who can look beyond fish processing and set up plants to develop other byproducts of fish like making Omega3 from our organic fish.
She concluded her presentation by pointing out the challenges faces as; sustainability of quantity to international
markets, quality and international standards assurance, inadequate flow of market and production information
and lack of accessible finance to enable export facilities.
Hon Nakabirwa finally invited investors to Uganda to take advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture sector.