Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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UAE Firm To Produce Fertilizers In Uganda

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Umaru Kashaka 

The Refarm Group of Companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ugandan government to manufacture fertilizers in Uganda.

Agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Uganda in the presence of Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and UAE’s economy minister, Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, on Wednesday.

The signing ceremony took place at the ongoing 28th annual United Nations climate change summit (COP28) in Dubai, which got under way on November 30 and will end on December 12.

“We signed an MOU of collaboration with a UAE agro-industrial company to come and manufacture fertilizers in Uganda. Climate smart agriculture involves appropriate use of precision farming enablers,” Tumwebaze said on X, formerly Twitter, shortly after signing the agreement.

He also said access to quality and affordable fertilizers is one of the strategies of improving production and productivity in a sustainable manner.

Nabbanja, who is representing President Yoweri Museveni at COP28, said this agreement will increase Uganda’s access to fertilizers and agricultural productivity.

“Today (Wednesday), I witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Government of Uganda and a UAE Refarm Group of Companies at the ongoing #COP28UAE to produce fertilizers in Uganda. Thank you @FrankTumwebazek for signing this MOU on behalf of our Government. We need more fertilizers to increase agricultural productivity,” she posted on X.

Uganda’s ambassador to UAE, Zaake Kibedi, and the permanent secretary of the agriculture ministry, Maj. Gen. (rtd) David Kasura-Kyomukama, also attended the signing ceremony. 

On August 29, 2023, Tumwebaze commended Grainpulse, a fertilizer company, for pioneering efforts to promote value-added production of local grains in Uganda.

He said this after leading a top-level ministry delegation to the company factory in Mukono and advised farmers to invest in domestic agricultural initiatives in order to succeed in farming.

Grainpulse is an integrated agribusiness company that produces crop-specific fertilizer blends for farmers while providing market access through offtake of farmers’ outputs such as coffee, grains and pulses.

“As government, we are working to reduce the price of inputs such as seed, fertilizers and other consumables used in the farming value chain. One of the initiatives to bring down those costs is by the Government deliberately working with investments like Grainpulse because the company helps to reduce costs of operation,” the minister said.

“In the end, this cycle directly supports the farmer through improvement in the quality of their products. Of course, this is also determined by the farmer’s level of investment in the inputs.”

During the tour of the factory, Hannington Karuhanga, the board chairman of Grainpulse, revealed that the company has a capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes of fertilizer blends annually.

He also pointed out that as they collaborate with farmers’ groups for value creation along the value chain, there is a prevailing challenge of small-holder farmers that lack logistical access to markets.

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