WASHINGTON, D.C., March 2, 1999 --- The
International Finance Corporation will lend US$2.4 million to Tilda Uganda
Ltd (TUL) for a rice growing and processing facility in Uganda.
The project privatizes and rehabilitates the bankrupt Kibimba rice scheme
which was established in 1973 by the governments of Uganda and China as
a joint venture. TUL, a privately owned company established for the
implementation of the project, acquired the rice operation in 1997 through
Uganda's privatization program.
TUL plans to produce 3,000 tons of milled rice, 2,400 tons of maize, and
200 tons of soya each year. The rice mill will have a capacity of 5 tons
per hour, processing rice grown by smallholders in the area as well as
the farm's crop.
The project will produce high quality rice for the first time in Uganda
and reduce imports, thereby saving foreign exchange, said Mr. Cesare Calari,
IFC's Director for sub-Saharan Africa. It will also increase employment
where it is much needed in rural eastern Uganda. Foreign private investment
in agriculture will help feed the country's growing population and lessen
the effect of droughts. Later stages of the project could make Uganda an
exporter of rice to other countries in the region, he added.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.