Construction of a Shs28 billion border market at Kiruruma Government Farm is set to commence after the project was launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda last Friday.
The market, located a few kilometers from the Katuna border town, is supported by Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (Comesa) with funding from the European Union.
In his speech read by state minister for Trade David Wakikona, Dr Rugunda said the market will enhance capacity of small and medium enterprises.
“Government developed a concept of establishing border markets at major border entry points such as Katuna, Elegu, Malaba, Busia, Mutukula and Mpondwe. Ugandan traders within the border markets exporting to the neighbouring countries shall not be subjected to discriminatory practices such as harassment, non-payment and non-tariff barriers,” he said.
The premier said Rwanda is the second major market for Ugandan products after Kenya and the revenue was valued at $216.3 million (about Shs765.7 billion) in 2013 and $243.3 million (about Shs861.2 billion) in 2014. Major exports to Rwanda from Uganda include vegetables fats, animals, soap, cement, salt, sugar, oils, sulphur, lubricants, iron and steel, beans, maize and other agricultural crops.
Mr Wakikona hailed Kabale District local government for the donation of 138 acres of land for the market. He asked for extra 100 acres so as to fully accommodate the entire project.
Kabale District chairman Patrick Besigye Keihwa and the chief administrative officer, Mr Herbert Mutungwire, promised to cooperate with the district council to ensure the government project succeeds.
However, about 50 people that have been using government land for dairy and crop farming have threatened to take the district to court because they have neither been compensated nor given an alternative on which to relocate more than 400 exotic cows.
But Mr Mutungwire said the complainants are wasting time because their contracts of occupying government land ended last year.
Amount Uganda earns from trading with Rwanda.