Engaging the Ministry of Science and Technology on Horticulture Value Chains: A Focus on Bananas, Mangoes, and Citrus

Hortifresh’s membership officer, Adrine Anyijukire, and Senior Agronomist, Joshua Baguma, recently engaged with the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Industrial Value Chain. The discussion centred around the horticulture value chain, with a particular emphasis on analyzing the value chains of bananas, mangoes, and citrus fruits. This aims to improve the efficiency of these vital agricultural sectors.

Expanding Horizons: Embracing Additional Value Chains

One of the key points emphasized was the importance of incorporating other value chains into the ministry’s focus. By involving Hortifresh, there can be better information sharing and coordination. This expanded approach will help in creating a more holistic and integrated value chain network. The ministry has shown interest and has requested a follow-up meeting. This meeting will be crucial for discussing further details and sharing project activities for Hortifresh’s participation and collaboration, especially since the Ministry of Science and Technology operates under the Office of the President.

Current Projects and Collaborations

During the discussion, the ministry informed them about an ongoing project being implemented with The Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID). Dr. James Kanyije, a key figure in this initiative, was also present, providing valuable insights into the project’s progress and objectives. Additionally, several lead farmers and farmers’ associations, invited based on Hortifresh’s recommendations, attended the meeting. Their presence highlighted the collaborative spirit and collective effort towards improving the horticulture value chains.

Emphasizing the Banana Value Chain

The opportunity was taken to highlight the need for the ministry to support the associations and their members, with a particular focus on the banana value chain. This support is crucial as Hortifresh works alongside the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) to finalize the Technical Dossier submission to the United States Department of Agriculture. This submission is essential for obtaining approval to export unpeeled fresh matooke to the USA and Canada markets. Currently, these exports are restricted pending the submission of the field audit Technical Dossier by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), with significant support from the private sector.

Moving Forward: Building Stronger Value Chains

The engagement with the Ministry of Science and Technology marks a significant step towards strengthening the horticulture value chains. By fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and supporting crucial submissions, a more robust agricultural sector can be achieved. The inclusion of other value chains will further enhance the ability to coordinate and disseminate valuable information, ultimately benefiting all stakeholders involved.

Hortifresh looks forward to the scheduled meeting and the promising developments that will arise from continued collaboration with the ministry. Together, a more efficient, productive, and sustainable horticulture industry can be achieved.

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