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Consumer Goods

In 1989 the government estimated that the nation's four textile mills manufactured about 8 million meters of cotton cloth per year, but Uganda's growing population required at least ten times this amount to attain self-sufficiency. The government began rehabilitating three other mills for weaving and spinning operations, and the United Garment Industries commissioned a plant to manufacture knitted apparel, some of it for export, under a US$3 million rehabilitation loan.

The production of beverages, including alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, increased in the late 1980s, and officials believed Uganda could achieve self-sufficiency in this area in the 1990s. In 1987 three breweries increased their production by an average of 100 percent, to more than 16 million liters. In the same year, five soft drink producers increased output by 15 percent to nearly 6 million liters. In addition, Lake Victoria Bottling Company, producers of Pepsi Cola, completed construction of a new plant at Nakawa.

Sugar production was vital to the soft drink industry, so rehabilitating the sugar industry promised to assist in attaining self-sufficiency in beverage production (see Crops , this ch.). The government hoped to reduce sugar imports from Cuba as the Lugazi and Kakira estates resumed production in 1989 and 1990. In 1988 and 1989, Uganda's dairy industry relied on imports of dried milk powder and butter to produce milk for sale to the general public. Processed milk, produced under monopoly by the government-owned Uganda Dairy Corporation, registered an increase of 29.5 percent, from 13 million liters in 1986 to 16.9 million liters in 1987. To improve the local dairy industry, the government rehabilitated milk cooling and collection centers, milk processing plants, and the industry's vehicles. And in the late 1980s, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Fisheries imported 1,500 in-calf freisian heifers to form the nucleus of a restocking effort on private and government farms (see Livestock , this ch.).

Production of wheat and corn flour increased in 1987, 1988, and 1989, despite continuing low-capacity utilization in the industry. Only one establishment, the Uganda Millers, which worked at just over 20 percent of capacity, produced wheat flour. The company nonetheless increased production to 9.5 thousand tons in 1987, 32 percent more than the previous year. At the same time, corn production increased 87.3 percent in 1987, to 4.6 thousand tons.

In 1988 only one cigarette-manufacturing plant, the British American Tobacco Company, operated in Uganda. Its production increased slightly between 1986 and 1987 to 1,434.8 million cigarettes. In 1988 the government provided a loan of US$1.43 million to rehabilitate the company's tobacco redrying plant in Kampala.

In November 1988, President Museveni opened an edible oil mill at Tororo to process cotton, sunflowers, peanuts, and sesame seeds. The plant had the capacity to process fifteen tons of raw oil daily into 4.3 tons of refined cooking oil and to produce an estimated 300 tons of soap annually as a by-product. The mill was built under a barter deal with Schwermaschinen Kombinat Ernst Thaelmann of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), which received coffee and cotton in exchange. In its first year of production, the plant encountered operating difficulties, but its officers still expected Uganda to achieve self-sufficiency in edible oil manufacturing during the 1990s. Mukwano Industries, Uganda's largest soap-manufacturing company, doubled production in 1988 and 1989.

The Uganda Leather and Tanning Industry was the nation's only leather producer, operating at less than 5 percent of capacity in 1987, when output dropped by nearly 40 percent from the previous year. Although three footwear producers were in operation, the Uganda Bata Shoe Company produced 98 percent of the nation's shoes, and it increased production in 1988 and 1989.

Data as of December 1990

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Uganda Table of Contents