“MUYEME” JUICE

The Vice Chancellor of Gulu University; Professor. George Openjuru Ladaah, had a discussion with the Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation; Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh about the massive mangoes that go to waste in Northern Uganda every year between months of May through July and agreed to have a pilot study of how to add value and also create wealth for the communities.

Thus a pilot project to establish the visibility of transforming the communities of Northern Uganda by creating wealth through value addition to the abundant indigenous mangoes and to empower the communities economically through earning from processing these mangoes into various value added products branded as Muyeme. This surely aligns with Gulu University Motto; For Community Transformation.

The project to build capacity to support industrial exploitation of mangoes indigenous to the Northern region was rolled out on 4th June 2021 at the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment. The dean; Dr. Collins Okello asserts that the project benefits the University as it transforms the theoretical knowledge given to the students into practical application in training.

 

Some of the main aspects of the research project was to establish the quality of the indigenous mangoes in the Acholi sub-region initially and gradually all the other sub-regions in Northern Uganda, to confirm the potential and quantities of mangoes required to sustain industrial processing.

To set the ball rolling, Gulu district authorities took the lead to mobilize the communities mainly through Mega FM and Rupiny FM radios, calling on the communities to support the project fully as part of their contribution. The Community’s response was positive, for 30 days of the experiment the project received about 3 tons of mangoes per day from Gulu, Amuru and Nwoya districts, which is less than 1% of the available quantities in the countryside leaving behind huge quantities to waste away.

On delivery, the mangoes were sorted out and washed with safe chemical before loading into the mobile juice factory. Dr. Muggaga Christopher, a food scientist, emphasizes the sorting procedure to ensure safety.

In the automated plant, the plump is extracted from the mangoes as the peel and seeds are treated as waste products. Key to the success of the joint project was the mobile juice factory mounted on a truck, hired from Makerere University.

 The head of Agronomy, Mr. Samuel Kabi emphasizes that all areas should be tested, sufficient samples of plump extracted where delivered to the Chemistry and microbiology laboratories as part of the quality control measures.

One of the most exciting moment of the research projects was the day the mango juice was made and taken to the community in and around the city so that  people  have a feel of the product ,the first people to sample where the stakeholders.

Lt. Gen. Phillip Idro remarked that ever since the first sample, he has been picking the juice for breakfast because it’s delicious. Dr. Muggaga Christopher loved it for its nutritional value and sugar level of 14% on average.

Ordinarily, the project started towards the end of the mango season, and yet there was so much more than could be handled by the mobile juice factory.  The research project and its findings have excited not only the Academicians but so many other people in Northern Uganda. Like the dairy industry as said by Dr. Tony Kidega the MD of Gulu Country Dairy, the concentrates of the mango have been used to create Muyeme Ice cream and is confident of more partnering between these industries in the future. The Project has also been a source of income to the residents of the three districts where mangoes have been extracted.

The project was made possible by thanks to the partnership with; Operations Wealth Creation, Gulu District Local Government, Makerere University, Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation and Uganda Industrial Research Institute.

As Gulu University motto says; For Community Transformation, the University is very optimistic that Muyeme Juice is going to practically transform the communities in northern Uganda, as more products are produced from the many mangoes which grace the region in the months of May to July.

  

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