Cooperatives & Communities

BCU asks Museveni to fulfill pledge of establishing cocoa processing factory

BUNDIBUGYO – Farmers belonging to Bwamba Cooperative Union [BCU] in Bundibugyo district have appealed to government to speed up the process of establishing a cocoa processing factory in the district as pledged by President Museveni seven years ago.

In 2016 while in Bundibugyo district during his presidential campaign, Museveni pledged to construct a cocoa processing factory in the district to help farmers and cooperators in the cocoa business, emphasising that the factory would be managed by BCU.

However, after waiting for so long, BCU farmers days ago asked the State Minister for Trade, Harriet Ntabazi to remind Museveni about his pledge.

Uganda Development Corporation [UDC] undertook a field visit of cocoa value chain affiliated stakeholders and facilities in the district.

The BCU chairperson board, Gideon Alinga said farmers had hopes that once a factory is built in the district for their produce, they would finally get stable prices and would eventually improve their household incomes.

“Since that time when UDC undertook a feasibility study to pave way for the establishment of a cocoa processing factory in the district, we have never received any feedback. We hope if this factory is established, it will also solve post-harvest handling issues and provide ready market for farmers in [Bundibugyo] district,” Alinga said.

Wilson Mugarra, a cocoa farmer said the proposed factory would create jobs for the people of Bundibugyo district and save farmers from earning peanuts from their cocoa.

The chairperson LCV Bundibugyo district, Robert Tibakunirwa said the district has secured 18 acres of land earmarked for the construction of the cocoa processing factory and that the district leadership is engaging government to start the construction process.

“Beyond helping farmers have value for their produce, the factory will help the district earn revenue from it,” he said.

Minister Ntabazi said plans for the construction of the cocoa processing factory are underway and promised to keep pushing for it.

The farmers in the area further urged government to further invest in research and development to boost the cocoa value chain.

Some of the cocoa products include; distilled beverage, cocoa, sorghum, cocoa powder, infant food, fruit wine, cocoa butter and chocolate liquor.


Bundibugyo district produces more than 18,000 metric tons of cocoa annually with a kilogramme of dry cocoa varying between Shs 5,000 and Shs 7,000 locally in the last three years.

Cocoa is harvested twice a month throughout the year, with peak seasons in September to February and March to August.

Other issues 

The manager Semuliki Cooperative Union, an umbrella for cocoa farmers in Bundibugyo, Methodius Baryesiima, decried the lack of clear policies to regulate cocoa farming.

“We need our policymakers to make sure they draft a policy for cocoa. Uganda earns good money from cocoa exports but unfortunately, it has been left in the hands of the private sector,” he said.

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