Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Dutch Embassy Boosts Chilli Value Chain

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Joshua Kato

In a bid to improve value addition among Ugandan farmers, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Uganda has given a modern chilli processing unit to Newman Foods Ltd, one of the leading processors of snacks and other beverages in the country.

The unit, accessed through TechnoServe, a Dutch-funded group, was commissioned recently by Juliet Kyokunda, the country director of Technoserve in Uganda. Technoserve were one of the sponsors of this year’s Harvest Money Expo.

The chilli processing unit, now installed inside the factory at Nakawuka, comprises a boiler plus a packing unit. The unit was officially launched by TechnoServe recently. It processes the Ug-Kamulali product. The firm also processes crisps and various nuts.

“This is intended to boost the chilli enterprise sector,” Kyokunda said.

She explained that many chilli farmers incur losses during periods of bumper harvest. Horticulture Market Acceleration Platform (HortiMAP) is working with Newman Foods to enhance capacities of smallholder farmers in the central districts of Luwero, Kayunga and Mukono in production of hot pepper and chilli, in order to comply with the recommended agronomic and pre- and post-harvest practices.

Kyokunda says TechnoServe has been in Uganda for over 50 years working with more than 25,000 players in the agriculture sector, ranging from seed companies, nursery operators, crop farmers especially vegetables, those adding value, local markets and exporters.

“We also train stakeholders in their respective line of production for better productivity, create links with players at different levels like farmers with quality seed companies and buyers, technical and financial assistance to improve production and value addition,” Kyokunda says.

TechnoServe also works with farmers in groups such that they can increase productivity on their farms, through projects like the HortiMAP.

“We work with farmers to create linkages at each level of production to create market — which has helped improve the quality and quantity of their harvest — such that agriculture is done as a business to improve the living conditions for small holder farmers and develop the country’s economy in general,” she says.


According to Nasser Ssegujja, the founder and director of Newman, the chilli processing unit will benefit so many farmers.

“Chilli farmers in the country are making losses because they can neither store nor add value to their produce. This unit will certainly reduce these losses,” Ssegujja said.

Newman Foods is working with hundreds of farmers dealing in chilli countrywide. Funded by the Netherlands embassy in Uganda, TechnoServe Uganda, in partnership with Wageningen University and Research, BidCapital Partners, and PUM Netherlands, is implementing the HortiMAP in three regions of Uganda namely: Elgon region, Kigezi region and the Lake Victoria crescent.

Kyokunda said the project aims at catalysing small and medium enterprises to deliver unique solutions.

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