Uganda must properly brand its fruit exports, says Naads

Hass Avocado being exhibited in the booths at the Africa Avocado Conference in Nairobi recently. Photo | Betty Ndagire

What you need to know:

  • Naads says there is a possibility that some products from Uganda are branded differently on the global markets, which explains why many high value crops from the country are not known 

The National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) has said it will engage stakeholders on proper branding of fruits and vegetables and other agricultural products from Uganda, some of which which, Ms Grace Kazigati, the Naads agribusiness development officer, said are mis-attributed due to poor branding. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the Africa Avocado Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Ms Kazigati said there was a possibility that some products from Uganda are branded differently on the global markets, which might be the reason as to why many high value crops from the country are not known. 

“One of the action areas  …  is that together with our stakeholders we should be able to enhance efforts to brand our fruits so that they are recognised as from Uganda on the international market,” she said, through interactions with some stakeholders, it was evident that many of Ugandan fruits and vegetables are exported to different markets but because they are not branded they are not known or are misattributed to other countries.

The Africa Avocado Conference, which opened on Tuesday attracted more than 1,000 stakeholders, many of whom are in involved in Hass Avocado farming value chain.

Ms Kazigati said many high value crops exported from Uganda are poorly branded, noting that the challenge of individualism, especially among Ugandan exporters, presents a number of coordination issue and standardisation. 

Therefore, she said, Naads will as well put efforts in helping farmers in releasing the power of synergies in the promotion of the entire value chain.

Recently, avocado farmers formed a federation, which Ms Kazigati said provides a base on which they can be supported. 

Mr Chris Kaijuka, the A.K Greenfield Farms managing director, said whereas branding is critical, farmers in Uganda lack a properly structured marketing plan, which could open up and consolidate existing markets. 

Therefore, he said, it was important that government focuses on market location and identify which products can drive Uganda’s marketing agenda. 

“When we talk about market, Hass Avocado has a big market across the globe. This is a crop that can be marketed anywhere. It is highly profitable if we can meet the standards and requirements of those continent,” Mr Kaijuka, noting that government should also put efforts in processing some of the fruit and vegetable exports from which the country could earn more money instead of exporting raw products. 

Value addition 

According to Mr Kaijuka, government must identify profitable fruits and vegetables that could be processed to  earn more money instead of exporting raw products. Many of Ugandan goods could earn more if there is sufficient value addition.