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Kazaire’s juice on health mission

Edward Kazaire is getting people in Mbarara talking. At 33, Kazaire is high up there with Mbarara’s young rich entrepreneurs.

But what could thrust Kazaire into the national limelight is his plan to popularize a fruit juice that, he says, stops the deadly cancer cells from spreading.

“My juice is mainly on the preventive side, to [prevent] cancer from spreading in the body,” said Kazaire.

The executive director of Kazire Health Products Ltd cuts a figure of a man on a mission to make a medical breakthrough. His education background helps; he graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 2002.

He later did a post-graduate diploma in human nutrition in China. The young entrepreneur’s juice factory, which he says cost roughly Shs 8bn but remains incomplete, is gradually becoming the talk of Mbarara town.

“I need Shs 14bn to make this plant serve the community satisfactorily. This is a long-term development project,” he said.

He is not ready to go to banks to take out a loan. At the current interest rates of more than 20%, Kazaire feels that taking a loan would be suicidal as it could lead to the business being placed under receivership. The factory produces 800 cartons of juice per day, according to Kazaire.

However, when the factory is complete, it will be able to produce 3,000 cartons a day. At the moment, he only supplies the juice in western Uganda. He hopes this will change when the factory is completed.

“I will supply the whole country and export to Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan,” he says.

Kazaire says he uses rare lemons, which are mainly grown in Arua and Soroti, to make his juice. As supply of the lemons in Uganda is limited, he is looking to import them from Bukoba in Tanzania.

“I have also signed an agreement with Isingiro district local government to supply one million lemon seedlings to farmers in the district,” he says, adding that at least 10,000 seedlings have been given out to farmers of Isingiro district for free. The catch is that Kazaire holds the right to buy the lemons from the farmers when they are harvested.

Kazaire says he uses organic products. “I am not against GMOs [genetically modified organisms]; I cannot use them.”

According to Kazaire, his factory employs 130 people directly. The numbers could be higher if government paid more attention to modernization of agriculture, he says.

“My call to the government is modernization of agriculture. That is what it should focus on. Value addition and agro-processing should be their key agenda; otherwise, government will not manage the war against poverty.”


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