Uganda Targets Doubling Palm Oil Production With Second Estate

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Wilmar International Ltd.’s Ugandan unit is establishing the East African country’s second palm oil project, which is expected to double national output to as much as 80,000 tons.

Bidco Uganda Ltd. -- jointly owned by Wilmar, Josovina Commodities Pte Ltd. of Singapore and Bidco Africa Ltd. of Kenya -- is already producing as much as 40,000 tons of palm oil from its Bugala island estate on Lake Victoria.

It started planting on Buvuma island last month and targets to have 1,000 hectares under trees this year and 5,000 hectares in four years, according to Connie Masaba, head of the Ugandan agency supervising the project. Small-holder farmers producing for Bidco are expected to plant a total of 2,500 hectares by 2025, she said Wednesday by phone from the capital, Kampala.

Uganda is providing land under an investment deal aimed at slashing imports. The nation shipped in crude and refined vegetable fats and oils valued at $243 million in 2017-18, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. The global vegetable oil market could expand to $299.2 billion by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of 3.3%, according to a report by Research and Markets.

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