A participant with a selection of the Ugandan organic products being exhibited
18 October 2012
Ugandan farmers have produced exceptional range of delicious foods - Project Director
A group of 15 Ugandan farmers and processors will be exhibiting their range of organic products in the United Kingdom, in a Commonwealth-funded project to explore new export market opportunities.
Their first engagement will be on 19 October at Marlborough House, headquarters of the Commonwealth in London, where they will meet potential buyers and retailers. The products include fresh and dried fruits, spices, herbs and shea butter.
Under the umbrella of the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda, the Commonwealth has been working with producers to develop high quality consumables suitable for export.
Sujeevan Perera, a trade adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “This event is a culmination of many months of hard work in Uganda’s fertile fields by many thousands of near-subsistence farmers fighting to improve their lives through the creation of new markets.”
Project director Dr Jim Barnard explained that Uganda enjoys outstanding soil fertility and a fantastic climate which, coupled with farming and processing expertise, has produced an “exceptional range of delicious foods”.
He said: “We are working with people who survive on very low incomes and struggle to find the money to pay for essential healthcare and their children’s education. We want to develop new markets to the UK which will help them to raise their living standards and bring enormous benefits to all those involved in the enterprises.
“Bite into a juicy pineapple grown by these Ugandan farmers for a genuinely new experience of pineapple, or enjoy food flavoured with the exceptional taste of their vanilla pods, and you’ll understand why we’re passionate about getting these products on to plates in the United Kingdom.”
Jacqueline Aturinde, a Ugandan producer, is supporting her three children and 14 staff by growing fruit and vegetables for sale. On her eight-acre holding, 30 miles from Uganda’s capital Kampala, she cultivates pineapples, apple bananas (small, strongly-flavoured bananas) and matoke (cooking bananas).
“I hope the launch will be a great success and enable me to invest in the farm and install an irrigation system for the dry times. Then I can employ more people who desperately want work to provide for the needs of their families,” she said.
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