The Minister of Agriculture Vincent Sempijja on Monday afternoon met with a delegation of Indian investors visiting Uganda to interest them in the opportunities that lie within agricultural sector.
The fourteen-person team of investors led by Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, the Chairman International Chamber of Service Industry has interests in mineral development, agriculture, timber, solar, hydro and geo thermal energy.
Sempijja, in his presentation to the delegation highlighted Uganda’s comparative advantage of: two cropping seasons, laborious farmers as well as vast unutilized arable land for agriculture.
“In the diary sector, we have potential of producing 2 billion litres of milk annually. Opportunities exist for powdered milk production because the demand from the regional market is a lot,” the Minister said, adding that investment in cheese, ice cream production and establishment of collection and distribution facilities would be viable.
With up to 14.4 million cattle, 12.4 million goats and 52 million poultry birds, Sempijja says that Uganda is an ideal base for an investor intending to venture into meat export, leather processing and animal feeds.
The recent changes in climate patterns have caused significant devastation to Uganda’s agriculture and an equal impact on the economy. For this reason, the government is looking to invest heavily in irrigation, agricultural insurance and disease prevention.
This as well is an opportunity for investors seeking to undertake joint ventures or even partnerships with the government through supply of equipment, products and services.
“The irrigation policy has just started. People were used to rain fed agriculture but we are now going into full blast irrigation. We shall need the technology,” Sempijja told the delegation.
“For the pesticides and herbicides, the market starts with government. Currently, we are buying them from Botswana and Europe which is very far. It is better to produce the vaccines here.”
The Minister said that due to standards imposed by the export market, it is incumbent on livestock farmers to vaccinate their animals against diseases.
Head of delegation, Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal told ChimpReports: “We want to understand more about agriculture insurance and banking. We are not here to harm the local farmers but rather to work collectively and see how we can support them.”