The management of Soroti Fruits Factory in Teso region has registered good recovery in its sales that had nearly collapsed after government shut down several sectors as a preventive measure on Covid-19.
Douglas Kakyuku Ndawula the factories executive director during an interaction with URN said the factory’s sales had dropped to 89% when the country was put under total lock down as a result of Covid-19 but have now nearly recovered and climbed to 97% of pre lockdown levels.
He said the lockdown heavily affected the factory’s sales because there was low market and that most of the companies that used to buy the products had closed.
“Its was very hard, we had a lot of products but there was no where to take them, and our sales dropped down to 89%,”he said.
According to the executive director, the recovery of the factory’s sale follows the opening of shops and schools which he said are the big consumers of the factory’s product.
The factory which is located in Soroti was established in 2014 in Eastern Uganda. It’s a government of Uganda investment promotion initiative aimed at supporting value addition in fruit processing for the promotion of industrial growth and increasing household incomes in the sub region and the country at large.
Ndawula said the fruit processing plant has a capacity to consume 6,000kgs of oranges, 2,000kgs of Mangoes and 4,000kgs of Pineapples per hour.
He said they have so far procured about 2,500,000Kg of Oranges and Mangoes during and since the lock down for the TeJu branded ready to drink Orange Juice, Teju Mango Juice, Teju Orange concentrate, Teju Mango Pulp and Teju Lemon concentrate.
Grace Amuge one of the fruits farmers in Akaikai village in Soroti district said life was so hard when the factory was not operating fully.”I nearly lost almost all the fruits in my garden because the factory was not operating and there was no where to take the fruits,” he said.
Simon Opolot ,another fruits farmer in Oculoi village in Katine sub county in Soroti said the factory management should prioritise prompt payment for fruits delivered at the factory but said the farmers are happy that the factory is now operating again.