The Banana Industrial Research and Development Centre (BIRDIC) has intensified value- addition to increase the volume of banana exports, hence create Jobs, especially for the young people
According to Prof. Florence Isabirye Muranga, the director general of the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID), the objective of the banana industrial research centre is to increase the value of bananas by supporting farmers to ensure that the value and quality of the crop is improved and maintained.
She claimed that before the implementation of PIBID, producers would suffer losses, particularly during periods of abundance, because the supply and demand could not be balanced and many bananas would be allowed to decay.
The Banana Industrial Research and Development Center, whose goal is to employ research to produce and market value-added products based on bananas, has started a campaign to increase consumer awareness of Tooke or banana flour and associated goods by expanding their national distribution network.
We should add value to the bananas and export them to other nations since we cannot consume all of the bananas that are produced. Farmers will earn more money as a result because demand and prices will continue to be strong, according to Prof. Muranga.
She was speaking at the commissioning of the Tuku Tukus, which she described as a new generation of trade tools designed to increase Tooke’s distribution capacity.
Prof. Muranga emphasized their preparedness and capacity to fulfill local and regional markets while trying to increase the export market when speaking about the significant potential in the market.
“To meet any obstacles that may arise, we have internally developed sturdy structures. Tuk Tuks will ensure a consistent supply of goods to retailers and wholesalers rather than being in direct rivalry with the current sales infrastructure. They will, in other words, enhance the current infrastructure, according to Muranga.
In order to ensure that the effort successfully exploited the success of research and development, she said it was essential to streamline the distribution process and provide agents with the tools they need to bring high-quality products to the market.
The Tooke items that will be distributed by the Tuku Tukus include Tooke flour, mandaazi, doughnuts, bread, cakes, scones, crisps, and biscuits.
The market is flooded with gluten-rich confectionery products, according to Prof. Muranga, and increased distribution of Tooke products will guarantee a healthier option of gluten-reduced products, which are healthier for human consumption and are available throughout the nation.
“As society becomes more health-conscious, they will demand more products that are of high quality and that meet health requirements, which is why research is important,” she said. “Our products are made from Tooke (banana) flour,” she continued. Due to our extensive distribution of Tooke goods, youth employment opportunities, and retail jobs, our farmers’ incomes will rise. As we enter the global market, we will draw in foreign exchange, which is essential for the growth of our nation, continued Muranga.
The Tuk Tuk distribution model is based on a door-to-door sales strategy, according to Isaiah Ssemamuli, the Tooke sales manager, and it aims to provide to schools, hospital canteens, grocery stores, supermarkets, small shops, and any other client touch point that may be visited daily.Starting with eastern and central Uganda, we plan to cover the entire nation.
Due to the location of our pilot plant in Bushenyi, western Uganda has seen a bigger distribution footprint, according to Ssemamuli.
The marketing manager, Andrew Matovu, pointed out that Tooke’s commercialization is only getting started.
However, Matovu stated, “We intend to reveal a revised distribution strategy during the launch of our first hub in Jinja.” “Today we are commissioning the new generation distribution.”
PRESIDENT LAUDS TOOKE TEAM
According to Matthew Bagonza of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development, the President is dedicated to helping the Tooke producers with their initiatives, which include providing jobs for young people.
The government formed PIBID in 2005 with the goal of transforming the banana research conducted at Makerere University into concrete socioeconomic benefits. TOOKE is a registered brand under PIBID.
PIBID, a government-funded project, was established with the goal of leading the provision of technical/scientific services to rural farmers to enable competitive value-adding, quality assurance, and sustainable banana production. PIBID was replaced by BIRDC. The goal of BIRDC is to serve as the premier public-private partnership hub for farmer-focused banana industry development.