Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has met the Turkish investors led by their Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Kerem Alp and asked them to take interest in Uganda’s agro-processing and value addition industry.
Kadaga said in light of the ongoing trade wars and ban of Uganda’s unprocessed produce from entry into the Kenyan markets, it is crucial that focus shifts to value addition in sugarcane, maize and other produce.
“What we need now is value addition; we need to move into production so that we export finished products; there are opportunities in the sugar industry and I wish you could explore paper manufacturing, syrups and other products of our farmers,” she said.
“Our people are struggling and they don’t have markets for their produce,” she added.
Ambassador Kerem, who hailed Uganda’s electoral process as peaceful, said the investors will look into agro-processing and also look into the construction industry.
“”I would like to introduce a team of investors from various fields; they are into construction and are interested in agro-processing and value addition as well,” he said.
Mr Mert Ozden, the Chief Executive Officer of the ADL Global group, their trade name, said they have registered as a business in Uganda and are looking forward to opportunities in Uganda.
“We want to support farmers with seeds and bio-fertilisers and machinery [to improve production and support value addition]; we are also interested in the construction industry especially cement,” he said.
Kerem said whereas there is a lot of potential in Uganda, it is underutilised, which is why the investors are coming in to bridge the gap.
MP Paul Akamba (Indep., Busiki County), who heads the Uganda-Turkey Parliamentary Association, said the cooperation between the two countries will be deepened.
“I would like to say that we had an opportunity to interact with the investors and as Chairperson of the Uganda-Turkey Parliamentary association, I will attend to the call of our brothers and sisters from Turkey,” he said.
In recent years, Turkey has been keen on intensifying its business and economic interests in Africa, and has been incentivizing its investors who develop business interests in the continent.