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    The School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS)

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    The School of Food Technologies, Nutrition and Bio Engineering (SFTNB)

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    The School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS)

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    The Department of Environmental Management (Former MUIENR)

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Makerere University, Uganda Police and Prisons flag off the Mobile Fruit Processor for Mango juice extraction in Yumbe .

Makerere University in partnership with Uganda Police and Prisons has flagged off a Mobile Fruit Factory to Yumbe district to extract Mango juice as part of the initiative to address post harvest loses and value addition for farmers produce.

The Mobile Fruit Processor was flagged off by the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Elizabeth Muwanga at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio- engineering on the 16th May, 2013 about 10:00 am and would arrive in Yumbe district at around Midnight. Also present at the function were representatives of the Uganda Prisons led by   Andrew Kisitu and University officials.

 

The 400, 000 US dollar machine which includes the truck and machinery on board, is the first of its kind in the country. It was designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom (UK) on specifications provided by experts in the School of Food science for Uganda.  The source of funds is the  Government of Uganda through the  Presidential Initiative  for Value Addition given to Makerere University and  benefits the  the  School of Food Science which is  under the College of agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), College of Engineering Design and Art (CEDAT) and that of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio security (CoVAB)

The machine is a complete factory of its own. It takes in raw fruit and delivers an intermediate preserved mango or pineapple pulp and because it takes care of itself, it has a generator on board, water treatment and processing unit to preserve the pulp and tanks for intermediate storage but the actual products will be packed in bulk bags (each unit is 20 kgs)   and put in a container on another truck. It has the capacity of processing 3 tonnes of fruits per day (3000 kilograms of mangos processed per day).

Flagging off the mobile factory, the AIGP Elizabeth Muwanga said, the force was partnering with Uganda Prisons and the University because of their long term engagement and expertise in production. She said Uganda Police moved to Yumbe where it acquired land for agriculture and while there, it was found that there were plenty of mangoes that were rotting.

The AIGP also said that Yumbe residents were asking how they would benefit from that partnership and that was how Makerere came up with this mobile factory for the mangoes. She described the flag off of the processor to Yumbe as one of the fruits of that partnership and  the operationalisation of  the Memorandum of Understanding.

“For the Police, it works for us because it is like community policing.  We work with the youth that have been involved in crime and now they will have something to do using resources they have like mangoes. As we move there in production, some will be partners and these curbs down the crime rate as one of the strategies.  Secondly as Police, we are going into production so that we do not entirely depend on salaries and government because salaries have never been enough and we are looking for alternatives to improve on police welfare” Said the AIGP.

 Ag. Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa expressed happiness for the tripartite Partnership of Makerere, Uganda Police and Prisons saying the University was to provide backstopping and opportunities to improve the wellbeing of the people.

He described the flag-off of the mobile fruit processor as a demonstration of the spin off the collaboration and government interest in making sure that farm products are moved from the people, added value and also preserved. Prof. Kyamanywa also lauded the presence of the AIGP and Prisons department on the function as important for increased production, community policing and crime reduction.

“We are particularly happy about this facility that is going to extract juice on site and the first activity of the partnership supported by Government of Uganda through the presidential Initiative given to Makerere University.  We hope we shall demonstrate that we can reduces fruit wastage at the farm level and increase value for our farmers.” The professor said.

The Dean School of Food Technology Nutrition and Bio engineering Prof. John Muyonga outlined that the University  job was  doing research, training and outreach and that  Uganda being an  agricultural country, the  school  was concerned with high post harvest losses of the food produced.

 “It is estimated that 50% of the mangoes produced go to waste. We worked with partners and a firm in UK and designed this machine which can enable us get to areas where mangoes and other fruits are produced and we were able to add value on those locations. Through this process we shall reduce the post harvest losses and at the same time improve the value so that farmers can get more money from the produce they have.” The Dean said.

Prof. Muyonga also said besides research, the school will be looking forward to long term partnership  with different partners  in the   utilisation and acquisition of more  mobile processors  to ensure that Ugandans have something to do by benefiting from the different commodities  they have to contribute to the development of the country.

The Manager, Food Technology and Business Incubation Center Assoc. Professor William Kyamuhangire said the machine is part of the  unit of the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering intended to  assist  people start up businesses to stand on their own and help graduates create their own employment after  they finished training at the university .

Dr. Kyamuhangire observed that Uganda is one of the countries that has the highest rates of business start ups and failures adding that the incubation centre was there to assist and nurture businesses so that they survive the first few years.

He said the Mobile processing factory was meant to address the issue of the abundant raw materials in the rural areas by turning   them into high value products. He observed that during the mango and pineapple seasons, they flood the markets and the villagers throw them away.

“ So the idea is that it is  a mobile processing unit so that you take it where the raw materials are, process from there and preserve the  intermediate product and bulk pack it, so that you bring back to Kampala a material that is less bulky and it is preserved and kept up to six months. And when we bring to Kampala we sell it to those who have facilities to make retail packs and deliver to the market.” Dr. Kyamuhangire explained.

Dr. Kyamuhangire further said,  the machine was  going to be  tested   and piloted for the first time  to produce  preserved fruit pulp and once successful  they would look at its  efficiency  so that they can  come up with a better design for the next version  that can be deployed  in different locations to process  different fruits,  add value to them for the benefit of  the farmers.

He said the deployment of mobile factory in Yumbe was a result of the request from Yumbe leadership that came to Kampala decrying   too many mangoes that were going into waste.

“Yumbe district has teamed up with the Police force to start a training centre from Yumbe. So that partnership further made us to go to Yumbe first. We have no  time limit we want to ensure that as long as we can process and pack the pulp, we will do that until the season is over” ,He said 

Dr. Kyamuhangire further said,  the machine was  going to be  tested   and piloted for the first time  to produce  preserved fruit pulp and once successful  they would look at its  efficiency  so that they can  come up with a better design for the next version  that can be deployed  in different locations to process  different fruits,  add value to them for the benefit of  the farmers.

He said the deployment of mobile factory in Yumbe was a result of the request from Yumbe leadership that came to Kampala decrying   too many mangoes that were going into waste.

“Yumbe district has teamed up with the Police force to start a training centre from Yumbe. So that partnership further made us to go to Yumbe first. We have no  time limit we want to ensure that as long as we can process and pack the pulp, we will do that until the season is over” ,He said 

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P.O.Box, 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Tel: +256-414-542277

Email: principal@caes.mak.ac.ug