The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Matia Kasaija has hailed businessman Hamis Kiggundu for setting up a modern food processing unit that is creating thousands of jobs and opportunities for the Ugandan youths.
Kasaija made the remarks on Wednesday, September 28, during a courtesy visit and tour of the Ham Agro-Processing Plant located in Akright Estate – Bwebajja along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.
Speaking to the NewVision after the visit, Mr Kasaija thanked the businessman for investing quite a good amount of money in establishing the food processing unit and commended the idea of building more specialized processing plants in the major agricultural zones across the country.
“He is outing up silos, processing up plants and bringing up some ecosystems to make the process very green. He has a showroom where the products he would have added value will be showcased. It’s a commendable job and if I can have more 20-30 Ugandans doing a similar thing around the country, then the future will be very bright”, Kasaija said.
Through his Ham Agro-Processing Industries, Kiggundu has set up an integrated agro-processing industrial park and plans to set up 10 important crop and livestock production zone locations in Uganda.
Kiggundu says he decided to set up the agro-processing industries and planned to build more specialized processing plants in the major agricultural zones across the country in the future, in line with the crop and livestock resource endowments specific to each agro-ecological zone of the country.
He adds that his main goal is to promote agro value addition mainly through assessing, sorting, quality analysis, managing, packaging and marketing local produce domestically, regionally and internationally.
The vast complex was built at Shs 440 billion and according to Kiggundu, who recently took the minister on the tour of the plant, the plant processes and adds value to various crops from across the board ranging from fruits, vegetables, cereals and other plants for both local consumption and export.
For example he will set up milk and meat processing units in Mbarara and Karamoja sub region; maize and sugar mills in the Hoima Masindi region, another plant in West Nile and the North, Eastern and Central.
“This will create more employment opportunities and boost incomes for communities across the country while boosting production and foreign exchange earnings as all the excess produce will be value added first then exported,” Kiggundu said.
Kiggundu’s integrated agro-processing industrial park is a dedicated cluster of large, medium and small scale food processing units. The plant will be facilitated with common basic and modern infrastructure such as, internal roads, cold storage units, food laboratory, effluent treatment plant.
Uganda has 10 agro-ecological zones comprising of: North-Eastern Dry lands; North-Eastern Savannah Grasslands; North-Western Savannah Grasslands; Parra Savannahs; Kyoga Plains; Lake Victoria Crescent; Western Savannah Grasslands; Pastoral Rangelands; South-western Farmlands; and the Highland Ranges.
Kasaija becomes the second government official after Minister of State for Investments Hon Evelyn Anite to visit the businessman’s plant in a period of five months.
Minister Anite in her visit at the facility in April lauded Kiggundu for creating jobs and opportunities for young people.
“Thank you Ham for investing in Uganda & for creating jobs. It was nice listening to a young and focused young Ugandan investor. As a government, we promise to support the post harvest handling for export & the entire project,” Anite said.