By Daniel Mwesigwa
Special Presidential Advisor (Special Duties) Odrek Rwabogo has Monday paid a visit to Dr. Florence Muranga, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial development (PIBID).
According to Rwabogo, Muranga’s banana industrial development project in Nyaruzinga Bushenyi district, tells one much about “why we were colonized.”
“If a country can produce 12m tones of bananas annually but add little to no value yet the full value chain of this can ably spin off-some 60+ different products and industries, then you understand our disengagement from what really works and our focus on shallow politics.There can be no ideological depth as leaders if we say we like the Movement yet ignore supporting and marketing ground breaking innovations-like Dr @floriemura’s. We are not just consuming Tooke flour for our morning porridge today on top of our Milkman yoghurt but we are also using the banana fibre door mats and we carry her reusable fibre bags.,” a tweet from his office reads.
Rwabogo says that for the project to scale and supply the lucrative EU/US markets which demand organic, dried and gluten free matooke, it has to increase its production from 1.5 tons a day to 15.
“This requires investment in drying capacity, organization of farmers for quality standards and heavy marketing,” Rwabogo, also a local investor said.
He added: “The re- opening of schools, one of her largest growing segments of the domestic market is a boon to her products but more than anything now, @floriemura needs support for organized export to bring in the necessary revenues for expansion of this great production facility. We couldn’t help this week use the analogy of her project in teaching, to demonstrate to the youth why Britain rushed to colonize North America, India and Africa along with the Caribbean’s when they discovered the value of cotton. As their source of raw cotton, Britain in the 19th century found a formula to produce more than 100 products from cooking & lighting oil to cloth & animal feeds in the cold northern hemisphere.”
HE says that for more than 75 years, Britain maintained lead on the cotton crop and products and the relevant spinning & dying technologies, killed and maimed millions in India in order to keep the lint coming to her mills!
“If we don’t see what Dr. @floriemura is doing to develop a lateral value chain from our Isingiro, Rwampara, Bushenyi, Mbarara, Masaka bananas, the very bananas we have cultivated since the 1800, – we are in danger of losing the future of Agriculture value addition and creating the much needed jobs for our youth. @floriemura‘s value chain spans food, energy, construction, pharmaceutical and bio safety industries,” Rwabogo said, pledging to “work with her on the export committee to push this innovation.”