By Fahim Muyingo
Situated in Nakaseke district, 55kms away from Uganda’s Capital Kampala, Kapeeka Sub County is the home of Kapeka Industrial Park also known as Liao Shen Industrial Park.
The industrial park established in June 2015 houses different factories producing several products. According to Harriet Namara, a secretary in General Salim Saleh’s office, the park is expected to house over 22 factories.
At the moment, the park has got over 19 operational Chinese factories. These include Goodwill (U) Ceramic Company, Ho and Mu Food Factory Technology, Nana Shoes factory and Latex factory among others.
Namara explained that factories like Yahe International Investment Company Limited dealing in maize production have been earmarked to serve at least 20, 000 smallholder farmers in the area.
Currently, Yahe International is serving at least 6, 000 farmers and farmer-based organizations within Kapeeka. It specializes in commercial grain trading, value addition, fortification, packaging and branding.
It cleans, dries and stores maize grains in the hub. It has a storage capacity of 2,000 metric tons. The Yahe International Regional Grain Hub covers the districts of Nakaseke, parts of Wakiso, Kiboga, Luwero and Nakasongola districts.
The purchase manager at Ho and Mu Food Factory Technology Sam Barekye reveals that their company has provided employment opportunities to over 300 people.
The majority of the employment beneficiaries are the indigenous people in Kapeeka Sub County.
He cited some of the products they produce as dry mangoes, dried pineapple, mango whisky and pineapple wine. He reveals that these products are yet to be embraced by the Ugandan market.
The factory that was not operational by the time of our visit due to COVID_19-related setbacks faces several challenges including inefficiency in labour.
Barekye, however, said the management of the factory together with the government has tried to intervene.
Good revenues for the government
Moses Ssenfuma, the chairperson of LC III Kapeeka Sub County, said the growth of the industrial park has increased the budget of the Sub County from Shs300m to Shs1.5 billion.
He said many locals and people from outside their community have been employed thus changing their standards of living.
Ssenfuma added that a farm centre was established by the authorities from the industrial park to provide loans to farmers in the community.
He said it has positively enhanced agricultural activities in Kapeeka Sub County.
According to Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda’s quest for strong industrial growth and development is on an upward trajectory.
The latest datasets suggest that Uganda has over 5,000 operational industries in various sectors.