Museveni describes the poverty in Uganda

President Museveni has said Ugandans will remain poor if they spend much of their time sleeping instead of engaging in productive activities.

“We Ugandans and Africans have big problems that have stagnated our progress, that is; either we sleep and do nothing or we wake up and do things without mathematics and the result of all that is poverty,” Mr Museveni said.

The President was speaking on Saturday at Lapem Village, Kochgoma Sub-county in Nwoya District while launching Bukona Agro Processors Distillery plant (factory) and the star e-stove.

The Star e-stove is eco-friendly and runs on ethanol processed from cassava.

The cassava distillery plant, which was constructed at a cost of $6 million (about Shs22.2 billion), will process ethanol, glucose and other industrial products from locally produced cassava in northern Uganda.

It is expected to solve the puzzle of lack of markets for the millions of tonnes of cassava produced in northern Uganda since Naads and the army-led Operation Wealth Creation programme boosted its production by providing free seed cuttings to thousands of farmers.

Mr Praviin Kekal, the Bukona Agro-processors Ltd managing director, said the distillery will consume 7,500 tonnes of dry cassava every day and 20,000 tonnes at peak of production.

“The dry cassava is processed into ethanol. The ethanol will primarily be used as fuel in lighting the star e-stove that we have also introduced on the Ugandan market,” Mr Kekal said, adding that the factory is set to employ 200 workers including expatriates.

Bukona Agro Processors Ltd becomes the 70th foreign investment to be established in Nwoya since 2010. Of the 70 foreign investments, 12 are commercial farmers utilising between 2,500 and 20,000 acres of land while 58 are running between 125 and 1,250 acres of land.

In partnership with Gulu Archdiocese, Bukona Agro Processors Ltd have mobilised more than 20,000 farmers under 33 cooperative societies in the region to grow cassava meant for consistent supply to the factory.

Mr Museveni asked the leaders of Nwoya to show the Trade minister land where an industrial park shall be established.

“Each region of the country will have an industrial park, we shall build one park per zone and the leaders here should show us where these factories or industries should be set up, the line ministry is already consulting over that,” he said.

President Museveni also inspected a newly constructed irrigation system in Pader District, which is expected to benefit dozens of families in the area by addressing food challenges.