By Herbert Musoke
Construction of the first state-of-the-art livestock concentrates processing facility is nearing completion.
Located at Ntinda in Nakawa division, Kampala, the facility is housed under the former Unga Millers factory premises. It is owned by a Dutch livestock producing company, Nutreco, who are producers of Hendrix feeds.
“They came and attended the Harvest Money Expo in 2017 partly to explore how they could deeply invest in the livestock feeds value chain in Uganda,” Dr Samuel Ssewagudde, the commercial manager Tunga Nutrition, said in an interview last week.
On realising the huge potential of the livestock feeds industry in Uganda, the group started looking for a facility to start processing the feeds locally.
In February 2022, the first vital announcement about the new partnership was made.
Nutreco had acquired the redundant Unga Millers facility and was to renovate it into a state-of-the-art concentrates factory.
“Nutreco is delighted to announce that it has received regulatory approval for its partnership with Unga Group Plc, to form two joint ventures, which will help meet the growing demand for high quality protein in the East African region,” the announcement said.
The announcement furthers Nutreco’s commitment to its purpose of ‘feeding the future’, and will strengthen the footprint of its business lines – Trouw Nutrition and Skretting in East Africa – a core focus region as it continues to expand globally.
Trouw Nutrition produces Hendrix livestock feeds.
In Uganda, the feeds are distributed by Champrisa International, who are also sponsors of the annual Harvest Money Expo.
The 2023 Harvest Money Expo will run from February 10 to 12 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.
Other sponsors of the expo include the Embassy of the Netherlands, the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Engineering Solutions, Warehouse Receipt Systems and Upfront.
According to Ssewagudde, the partnership involves open-ended, Nutreco-managed joint ventures with two indirect subsidies of Unga Group – Unga Farm Care East Africa Limited in Kenya and Unga Millers Uganda Limited. Both ventures were named Tunga Nutrition, taking inspiration from the Swahili word Tunga, meaning “to compose”.
Tunga Nutrition Kenya will increase its production capacity at its jointly-owned fish feed plant in Nairobi to commercialise these products under Skretting and Fugo brands.
Tunga Nutrition Uganda will on the other hand make use of Unga Millers’ dormant flour mill in Kampala, to convert it into a state-of-the-art mill producing animal feeds and concentrates.
Its products will be sold under both Trouw Nutrition’s Hendrix and Unga’s Fugo Brands.
The structure has four silos, a factory for processing the feeds and warehouses to store the finished product. At the moment, Ssewagudde said, at least $6m (sh20b) has been invested in the project.
“About 70% of the work has been completed now and we are due to open the production line in August,” Ssewagudde stated.
The factory has capacity to process at least 15 metric tonnes of feeds per hour.
“With a 10-hour shift, that is about 150 metric tonnes per day,” Ssewagudde stressed.
Farmers to supply factory
One of the big beneficiaries will be cereals farmers.
“The concentrates will be processed here using locally sourced raw materials, and at the same time with the quality similar to what we currently import from the Netherlands,” Ssewagudde explained.
Among the raw materials that will be locally sourced are maize and soya beans.
“The factory will require lots of soya and maize. We prefer buying these directly from farmers’ groups rather than from middlemen. We have already contacted several farmers’ groups to supply us soya and maize,” he revealed.
Although the state-of-the-art factory will be mainly automated, they will also employ at least 35 Ugandan skilled workers.
Chris Magezi from Champrisa International, said construction of the factory in Uganda will help reduce prices of animal feeds concentrates.