There has been a new government campaign to increase awareness of Uganda’s agricultural output and boost exports to Western markets. A new initiative by the government, entitled the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), was launched a year ago. PACEID is keen to transform and upgrade Uganda’s export potential. The committee running the body has set an ambitious target of raising revenue from fruit and vegetables from the current $45m to $197m by 2027.
One company determined to push Ugandan produce far and wide and help increase revenue from this source is Zahra. Zahra promotes itself as one of few companies in Uganda to be certified under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Food Safety Management System. Zahra processes a range of fresh and dried fruits, nuts, teas, herbs and spices. The company is making a transition to sell all its products under the brand name “Blossomz”.
Dried pineapples and mangos have begun to grace the shelves of supermarkets in Kenya and Uganda, and Zahra has an exclusive deal with Uganda Airlines to supply nuts and other snack products. But perhaps Zahra’s most innovative product is dried jackfruit. The fibrous flesh of the jackfruit has a meat-like texture. It easily absorbs flavors – making it an ideal meat substitute, says the company.