By Moses Kizito Buule
New hope for enhanced household incomes, food security and better family nutrition has been created for residents of Busoke village in Mpunge sub-county, on introduction of investors with a dual benefit of creating employment and training locals to become self-employed.
The hope comes in the name of Katochick Poultries, an ultra modern automated poultry concern introduced in the area by two Ugandans of Eritrean origin, Tesfalem Gherahtu, a former Eritrean Consular to Uganda, and Woldu Ghebreyesus.
The over shs. 2.7bn/= facility standing on 15 acres, uses a 34 kilowatt three-phase solar power source, the first of that capacity in the country, has self-propelling feed chain and drinkers, with the first batch of 30,000 chicks already in the brooders.
According to Gherahtu who conducted Watchdog staff around the complex this week, they were attracted to do business in Uganda following the abundant peace and political will of government, and the unlimited natural endowment enabling Ugandans to harvest three to four times a year.
He said that unlike in many countries where there is a single harvest dictated by climatic conditions, Uganda has weather conditions enabling multiple harvest, plus opportunities for irrigation where need be, to boost the situation.
He said they have plans of setting up agro production, fish and goat rearing components, with a provision of training workers to be able to set up their own enterprises, and gave assurances of a ready market for their produce in the Arab world.
“President Museveni’s dream of transforming Uganda into a middle income economy is a very viable project through agriculture, given both the natural and political conditions which are very friendly”, Gherahtu said.
He said that besides building workers’ capacity to effectively contribute to the presidential poverty reduction drive, the other reason they are training locals is to ensure a ready supply of technical staff in times of need, and to make them trainers of their colleagues so that everybody willing to join the process can get on board.
He said that although today they have brought in an Egyptian veterinary doctor, in future they will need more such professionals when the enterprises expands to Nakasongola where they are setting up the goat rearing section, and that they cannot always think of importing foreign workers.
For instance he added, currently they have two Ugandan veterinarians who double as workers and trainers of fellow Ugandan experts on the best practices for handling a high profile automated project like Katochick Poultries.
The solar expert at the project Neamun Hargos said that in absence of electricity from the national grid, solar power is the most affordable source compared to others like fuel generators.
He added that when they start using irrigation in future, they will need more power which cannot be afforded fuel generators.
And Fekadu Teweldemedhin Menkerios of Continental General Trading Company, gave assurances that they supplied reliable equipment to Katochick, capable of providing drilled water for human consumption and generating power
without interruption of repairs for not less than fifteen years.
The project comes at a time when President Museveni is emphasizing food production for export to the Middle East market, and personally supporting a goat multiplication project in the cattle corridor, undertaken at Sembeguya Estates at Kakinga village, Ntuusi sub-county in Sembabule district.
Initial beneficiaries of the Sembabule goat project which effectively started wayback in 2009, are giving a success story since they joined it, and are asking President Museveni to expand it to other regions as a reliable poverty reduction entry point.