Uganda will soon start exporting fresh peeled bananas (matooke) to the United States under the Banana value chain project, New Vision has established.
The Danish Development Agency (Danida) $2m (Shs4.9b) funded project will be implemented under the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI).
“Under the new arrangements, quality matooke will be peeled and packed well for export to the States and other European countries. The project is awaiting arrival of machines that will enhance quality of exports,” said Godfrey Atuheire the winner of the Danida grant.
He said the project will also involve the manufacturing of environmentally friendly paper bags made from banana, rice, sorghum and bamboo fibers as well from maize, sisal and wheat straws. “We have already ordered for the paper bag making machine from India.
The manufacturing process starts by June,” he said. Atuheire who won the Young Achievers Award was addressing young Entrepreneurs drawn from Makindye and Rukiiga county in Kabale who were conducting a one week entrepreneurship training course at the UIRI in Nakawa
Herbert Kabafunzaki, the Chief Executive officer Berteeen Business Systems and the LC councilor for Wakiso district who mobilized the youth said such projects would help create employment to the hundreds of jobless youth. “I hail UIRI for training youths, some from as far as Kabale where they have left their wives, children and wives,” said Kabafunzaki.
He pointed out that the solution to unemployment is not squarely on the shoulders of government. “Entrepreneurships is the way to go. It is the livelihood of improvement of man,” said.
The UIRI director Productions, Emmanuel Tumweboneire said government was committed to addressing the issue of unemployment by having hands-on approach skill trainings.
“Use the skills that you have acquired to start up jobs and income generating activities,” he said.
Dokoria George Denis, the UIRI Communications and Marketing Manager said the over 30 youths, some as young as 16 years were trained in the categories on ICT and food.
“These young men and women can now bake bread, cakes, make juice, sausage and use computer,” said Dokoria. He pointed out that government trains organized groups at UIRI basing on demand free of charge.