Profit-making idea: Supplying food and other goods to Uganda’s oil industry

Uganda is expected to start pumping oil by 2025.

Uganda’s nascent oil and gas sector is expected to create downstream business opportunities for those who can provide products and services required by the hydrocarbons industry. One company poised to benefit from the anticipated influx of oil workers to Uganda’s Lake Albert region is Pure Grow Africa, which will supply them with fruit and vegetables.

Significant oil deposits have been discovered in the Lake Albert basin, situated in the west of the country. Exploration work in the area has been ongoing for over a decade, with oil production anticipated to commence in 2025. Oil producers active in the country include TotalEnergies and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The Lake Albert development encompasses the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to Tanzania. The Tilenga project, operated by TotalEnergies, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to deliver a combined production of 230,000 barrels per day at peak. The production will be transported from the oilfields in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania via the EACOP cross-border pipeline.

Pure Grow Africa – which supplies fruit and vegetables to supermarkets and hotels in Uganda and the broader region – has entered into a partnership with Stanbic Business Incubator Limited, an initiative of Stanbic Bank, to establish a network of farmers in the Hoima District, close to the oil fields. The farmers will eventually supply fresh fruit and vegetables to the large oil contractors for catering to their staff. The region’s oil camps are predicted to host over 160,000 people once the production and development phase begins.

“The incubator programme is giving us a training facility in Hoima, with a demonstration farm where the farmers can experience and see how to profitably grow crops on a small piece of land,” says Bobby Juuko, founder of Pure Growth Africa.

“There will be large camps of workers to build and set up the oil and gas exploration. Our work in the region will help the local farmers to benefit from this growing sector on their doorstep. The farmers will be organised to grow the produce and Pure Grow Africa will aggregate, sort and package it according to the standards required by the oil and gas companies. It’s a win-win,” he adds.