Finance & Banking

UDB readies Shs 18.3bln  for 19 projects in Bunyoro

HOIMA– At least 19 projects in Bunyoro Sub-region that need cheap loans will benefit from Shs 18.3 billion offered by Uganda Development Bank [UDB], with the projects expected to create 432 jobs in the region.

Speaking on Friday during an annual media briefing organised by UDB at Bwendero Dairy Farm Limited, one of the bank’s clients in Kitoba Sub-county in Hoima district, the bank’s director of strategy, Joshua Mwesigwa said they have approved new loan applications countrywide, which rose by 40 percent to Shs 894bln in 2022 from Shs 635bln in 2021.

He noted that the industrial sector, comprising manufacturing and agro-industry received the highest number of approvals worth Shs 454.75bln with primary agriculture receiving Shs 96.75bln.

Mwesigwa said the approved funds would support 249 projects expected to create 35,372 jobs across the country.

Mwesigwa added the projects are expected to generate Shs 393.79bln in tax revenue for government and attract foreign exchange earnings of about Sh1.6 trillion.

He added that the bank disbursed Shs 776.6bln during the year 2022 which improved by 18 percent from Shs 428bln disbursed in 2021. He added that 76 percent of the loans were disbursed to projects engaged in agriculture, agro-processing, and manufacturing.

He added that they intend to launch a water-for-production initiative aimed at increasing sustainable agricultural production to support agro-industrialisation sector in Uganda.

He added UDB has allocated Shs 178 million to National Semi-arid Resource Research Institute to support production of improved oil seed varieties.

John Magara, the director of Bwendero Dairy Farm Limited said with the support of UDB, they have instilled a plant that produces 750 tons sugar per day from its 2,500 acres of cane as well as registering 257, sugarcane out growers.

He adds that with the partnership with UDB, the company has contributed at least Shs 6bn in taxes over the last five years and purchased 86,974 tons of sugarcane from farmers.

He added that on average the company pays each farmer Shs 500, 000 hence uplifting over 1,000 people from poverty. He added that they also process 4,650 tons of maize flour.

He added they intend to venture into Hass avocado and plan to have an out growers’ scheme for the project, adding they have so far secured 250 acres for the project.

The State Minister for Public Service, Grace Mary Mugasa, commended UDB for supporting citizens to engage in industrialisation. However, she challenged the people of Bunyoro to not only focus on growing sugarcane but also engage in the production of food.

She advised people with small land to concentrate on food production and leave sugarcane growing to those with big chunks of land to engage in the cane growing.

The state minister for Bunyoro Affairs Jenifer Namuyangu commended the Bwendero Dairy Farm Limited for embracing industrialisation.

She said industrialisation contribute to the socio-economic transformation of the country through job creation, taxes providing taxi to the government as well supporting farmers and small-scale industries to boost their incomes.

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