Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) in partnership with Korea International Cooperation (KOICA) have set up a fruit processing factory in Soroti to add value to the fruits that are abundantly underutilized in the Teso region hence addressing the high post–harvest losses and creating a ready market for the farmers’ produce which ultimately would result to increase in household incomes.
The factory is currently processing oranges and mangoes into concentrates and ready to drink juice. Besides this, the factory will also process passion fruits, pineapples and water lemon in future. This implies that the factory is a multi-purpose facility.
The facility has a processing capacity of 6 metric tonnes per hour for oranges, 2metric tonnes per hour for mangoes, 4 metric tonnes per hour for pineapples and 4 metric tonnes per hour for passion fruits.
The factory is owned by Soroti fruit Limited (SOFTE), a subsidiary of UDC. The corporation has 80% shareholding and the fruit farmers through Teso Tropical Fruit Cooperative Union (TEFCU) 20% in SOFTE. Once SOFTE is mature and self-sustaining, UDC will divest its shareholding gradually to the fruit farmers and the proceeds are to be invested in new ventures under the corporation. In order for the farmers to be able to take full ownership of the venture, they should demonstrate their technical and financial capacity to professionally manage the business.