The regional Project implemented in Uganda on “Development and Promotion of Value-added Meat Products in Sub-Saharan Africa” was designed as a multi-donor project in 1996-1999. FAO developed and executed the project and contributed regional training courses on meat processing technology through the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) provided the bulk of the funding for the rehabilitation of facilities, purchase of equipment and project operations. The Government of Uganda provided facilities for the project at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute and national technical staff and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ/CIM) provided the services of a Chief Technical Adviser.
Under the TCP, FAO conducted five regional training courses on meat processing technology from 1997-1999. A total of 76 participants from 14 countries attended the one-month training of trainer’s courses. Participating countries included Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Feedback from participants indicated that many progressed significantly in their professional life, either by being given more responsibilities in their companies or by starting their own enterprises as a direct result of the intensive skills based training.
In another TCP project, FAO at request of the Ugandan Government addressed the problem of rural malnutrition, especially lack of animal protein. A rural development and training programme was designed to train women’s groups in small-scale value-added meat processing, to establish several village level meat processing pilot plants and educate the new entrepreneurs on improved product marketing strategies.
The Uganda Meat Technology Centre (UMTC) was successfully established as a service provider for micro-, small- and medium-sized meat enterprises and continues to provide valuable assistance to local industries. In cooperation with the new owners and some cattle farmers, live cattle and beef carcass grading schemes were introduced at the Kampala slaughterhouse owned by Uganda Meat Industries a local company.
Uganda Meat Technology Centre (UMTC)
Hands-on training and other services rendered by the project encouraged potential new entrepreneurs and the number of private meat processor entrepreneurs in Kampala increased from two to six (2002).
Local processed product production went up significantly and importation of processed meats from Kenya reduced from 35 tons/month to 20 tons/month (2000) and the retail market prices for sausages reduced by 40%. Uganda Meat Industries started exporting processed meats to Tanzania in 2001.
Over 100 women and youth received training in rural small-scale meat processing and shop operations. As a result, five village-scale meat processors with 26 staff started operations in 2001.
Success stories from Uganda Meat Training courses
Some Ugandan participants from training courses conducted under the project joined hands and established a new meat processing enterprise. Under the name Nile Plains, they rented the commercial section of the UMTC and started operations. In 2001, the company employed over 10 staff and delivered country-wide though its own distribution scheme.
Uganda Meat Industries / Top Cuts
Encouraged by the training and technical guidance received by the project, the Uganda Meat Industries established a modern meat processing facility with over 20 staff. Their products soon captured a substantial share of the domestic market. This resulted in a general quality increase also with competitor’s products and a significant price reduction, thus further stimulating domestic sales. The company also started exporting special meat cuts and processed products to Tanzania.
Village meat enterprises
In five district towns in Uganda small, but modern and hygienic meat shops were established and operated by women groups or youth cooperatives. Engaged in basic meat processing operations, fresh meats and basic meat products these enterprises make meat and basic meat products available also in remoter rural areas and substantially increased the income situation of families involved (2002).
Chiefs choice (Kenya)
Under the project, the lady owner of Chef’s Choice received intensive training at the UMTC and was assisted in her product development efforts. Through this, she expanded her operations significantly. Her sausage stalls with affordable products are found all over Nairobi and other major towns (2000).