Government has given 750 acres of land to Chinese investors to undertake cotton growing in Masaka District. The investors, however, still need another 15,500 acres for agribusiness.
According to Mr Okaiesa Opolot, the director crop resource in the Ministry of Agriculture, Sichuan, the investors from Provincial Department of Agriculture in the People’s Republic of China, need 17,000 acres for crop production, fish farming and animal rearing.
“So far, Masaka District local government, has offered them (Chinese) 750 acres to start with cotton farming but countrywide they need about 17,000 acres.
They are kick starting their investment with $60 million (Shs156b) annually and over the next five years; they would have invested $300 million (Shs7.8 billion),” Mr Opolot said.
“This will not only create jobs but also make farmers have a stable projected income from cotton at the start of the planting season” he added.
The team of 14 led by the deputy director general of Sichuan, Mr Tu Jian Hua, concluded their visit at the weekend after making several site visits upcountry and meeting government officials.
Mr Hau assured Uganda that the produce will be processed locally to create more jobs for Ugandans.
“The Chinese have been carrying out research in growing improved breeds of cotton, rice and fruits as well as animal breeding that has showed positive results and it is now time to go commercial,” Mr Hau said.
Dr James Tumwine, the coordinator, South to South Cooperation funded by Food and Agricultural Organisation that has been coordinating the research, said donors have renewed funding for the second phase that kicks off in a couple of weeks.