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NRM Bazzukulu tipped on value addition at Kike Tropical Fruits Factory

Ms. Kembabazi also urged the proprietor Mr Mugabe to involve in govt programmes such as the PDM by offering trainings to the community as a way of changing the mindset of Ugandans to alleviate poverty amongst them.

Kike Tropical Fruits Director Mr Francis Mugabe explained to the attentive youths the production process at the facility on Saturday, September 24, 2022 (All Photos/Asiteza Remmy)

NAKASONGOLA, UGANDA: A group of NRM enthusiasts and supporters under their body “Bazzukulu ba M7” made a field tour at Kike Tropical Fruits Limited in Nakasongola exploring the value addition in the production process that has seen the firm expand fully and cover the local market in just three years of its existence.

Led by Chief Muzzukulu Ms Caroline Kembabazi (who is also the Ass. Private Press Secretary to the President), the Bazzukulu were on Saturday, September 24, welcomed by the proprietor, Mr Francis Mugabe at the facility located in Nakaseeta village, Kakoge subcounty in Nakasongola district.

An aerial view of Kike Tropical Fruits Factory in Nakaseeta, Kakoge Town Council, Nakasongola District

Established in 2019, Kike Tropical Fruits Ltd is an indigenous factory that primarily deals in the manufacture of fruit concentrate known as puree used as raw materials by local and foreign beverage companies in the production of fruit juices for the final consumer.

The company currently deals in Mangoes, Pineapples, Passion Fruit and Oranges, as it seeks to expand to cover other fruits in the nearby future.

The Tour

Bazzukulu members on a tour at Kike Tropical Fruits on Saturday, September 24, 2022

During the study tour at the facility, Ms. Caroline Night, the General Manager at Kike explained that each fruit is produced in the process line of our multi-fruit line that meets the quality and safety conditions, in addition to the corresponding certifications..

She explained that right from the beginning, the fruits are ferried into the facility in the lorries/truck and then taken to the weighbridge where they are weighed to record the metric tonnes, before being shipped to the warehouse for quality control by expert food scientists.

Upon clearance from the quality assurance and control team, the fruits are offloaded, cleaned off the dust and dirt, then sorted and kept in the ripening area for 48-72 hours to attain a uniform ripening with help of the automatic heater.

The pineapples in the auto washing machine. Here the fruits are thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt on the outer cover before they are sent to the cutting machine

From here, the fruits are then collected and taken into the production facility where the second washing is done inside the Auto Wash Machine, ferried into the Rinsing and Auto Brushing area and then into the cutting machine where the outer cover is automatically peeled and the fruit flesh sent to the squeezer to get out the juice, and the residue disposed of to the waste area.

The final stage of the production process is where the juice is sent to the filter for further cleaning and then extended to the purifier machine where the standardisation process is done.

a team of Bazzukulu youths observing the production activity at the cutting machine where the fruits are sliced into smaller pieces and squeezed to get the juice out of them

From here, the final product of the juice concentrate is safely and hygienically collected into packaging bags, each collecting about 200kgs of the product and then sorted inside the production warehouse, ready for sale.

Containers of the finished fruit concentrate are arranged for sorting and stock purposes.

Each final product sealed and stored in the tanks has a shell life of 18 months after the production date stored at room temperature, as long as the aseptic bag seal not broken.

After the production tour, the team of Bazzukulu were taken to the sample reference room where each product sample is kept for testing purposes. It is here that quality assurance and follow-up is done to ensure that when a customer raises complaints and queries, the factory is able to make a reference on the day it was produced, and which supplier is responsible.

The team inside the sample reference room where product samples are kept with index numbers for monitoring purposes.

Addressing the members after the luncheon, Mr. Francis Mugabe, the Director Kike Tropical Fruits Ltd said having a niche of value addition in their production process has been key for their vast growth in just three years of their establishment.

He said that choosing to specialize in the manufacture of fruit concentrate (a product which was for so long imported from abroad) has enabled the company attract local investors citing Britannia Allied Industries, Crown Beverages, Coca Cola and Riham Group as some of their leading clients who use their product for their juice production.

The evaporator machine at Kike Fruits Factory where the filtered juice is initially kept before being sent to the final stage of production.

Mr. Mugabe in his advice to the youths and aspiring entrepreneurs said; “Nothing is impossible, I can assure you that, if you are focused, you will surely achieve that goal you’re chasing for. I also started dreaming of owning such an establishment about 20 years ago, and here I am now, looking at my dream come true.”

Asked about the future plans of Kike Factory in five years from now, Mr. Mugabe said the facility is fully focused on capacity building to meet the ever-changing demands of the local and foreign markets, and also expand the firm to be able to accommodate all types of fruits including guavas, grapes, apples and so on.

Bazzukulu youths gather for a group photo with Kike Fruit Factory officials on Saturday evening before setting off for a trip back to Kampala

In her speech to the Bazzukulu, Ms. Caroline Kembabazi, the Chief Muzzukulu implored the youths to not only use these tours for fun and excitement but pick a leaf from these local investors and go on to implement such ideas in their communities at a small scale as a means of generating income for their respective households.

Ms. Kembabazi also urged the proprietor Mr Mugabe to involve in the government programmes such as Parish Development Model (PDM) by offering trainings to the community as a way of changing the mindset of Ugandans to alleviate poverty amongst them.

Kike Tropical Fruits Limited currently employs over 200 Ugandans, with the biggest percentage of the labourers coming from within the community of Nakaseeta, in Kakoke Town council, Nakasongola district.

The facility impacts thousands of smallholder fruit farmers all over the country by offering them a ready market for their fruits and consistently offers its registered farmers’ farm extension advisory services such as example training on good agronomic & organic practices.

The factory’s products are all certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and bear the Quality Mark (Q-mark) which enables them to be marketed in the regional markets in East Africa. 

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