Kitgum farmers in need of value addition facilities

KITGUM, November 8, 2023 – Lack of facilities for value addition is affecting farmers under King of Kings Multi-Investment and Consultancy Farm Limited in Kitgum district in Northern Uganda.

The company has now operated for 12 years, working with the farmers to produce simsim, groundnuts, soybeans, sunflower produce, and cassava for value addition.

The company also produces cassava and maize flour, honey, smashed ginger, and soap which they sell in and out of Kitgum district.

According to Walter Ali, the executive director of the company, Kitgum district has only one ginnery that was established in the 1962.

Ali said this limits his farmers from benefiting from the byproducts of their produce such as animal feeds.

“Farmers lack their own agro processing facilities. We have only one factory,  East Acholi Ginnery that process only  cooking oil yet farmers don’t benefit  from other bi-products, the beneficiaries are the people who work at the factory,” Ali said.

He also added that they always waste a lot of money in transporting their produce to Lira for processing, which cost, would be minimised if a processing facility is  established nearby.

“When we take our produce to East Acholi Factory, they don’t process everything, instead they always refer us to Lira where Mount Meru and Mukwano factories are taking lead in the processing. We spend a lot of money in transportation and at the end of it all, farmers don’t benefit from various bi-products left at the factory . If we get processing facilities nearby, farmers will benefit from their hard work,” he said.

Alfred Omony, the Kitgum district head of production said that value addition in the agriculture value chain is low due to lack of processing facilities, which he said are too expensive for the farmers to afford.

“The rate of value addition is still very low. We have about sunflower pressing machines and they are enough because they don’t get sunflower throughout the year. However,  King of Kings Multi-Investment and Consultancy Farm Limited can have one because they are very hard working,” Omony said.

Alex Opira, the Kitgum district commercial officer said the the machines for processing produce such as sunflower are enough given that in some seasons production is low.

King of Kings has 400 village agronomic agents that 200 male and 200 female that support over 2,000 smallholder farmers in the district.

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