In terms of production capacity, UFM has, since the 1990s, embarked on upgrading the factory by acquiring the modern manufacturing technology and international equipment. This has translated into the production of fishing nets that meet international standards. The UFM fishing nets fit within the parameters set by Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) on fishing nets allowable for use on Uganda’s water bodies.
Our Brand “Simba net” has been in existence since 1964 and is well known within and outside East African region for “Superior Quality”. We manufacture nets that meet the legally recommended sizes to maximize catch of mature fishes while preserving fish stocks thereby striking an ecological balance and ensuring long term sustainability of fisheries resources. As we aim at meeting our customers’ demand, our nets are dyed in different colours and this has been said to improve fish catches.
Environment & Sustainability
Our Environmental and Development Impact: The Fisheries sector remains the second highest foreign exchange earner for Uganda. According to Uganda Investment Authority, Lake Victoria is the most productive freshwater fishery in Africa. Fishery yield from the lake is of the order of magnitude of 800,000 – 1,000,000 tonnes and is valued at USD.350 – 400 million with export earnings estimated at US$ 250 million.
This is supported by three main fish stocks, the Nile perch, silver fish (Mukene) and Nile Tilapia. Over 75% of the Nile perch is directed to the fish processing factories for export while other varieties are serving the regional and local markets.
Under the Uganda Fish Act and the Fishing (Fish) Regulations, 2012, fishnets whose mesh size is less than 4 inches are not allowed on Uganda’s water bodies. This is to help conserve fish stocks but also ensure that the sub-sector flourishes, making it sustainable. UFM has integrated this into our production methodology and only fishnets whose mesh size is 4 inches and above are made.
Additionally, UFM manufactures fishnets from only Nylon which does not disintegrate when in water. This allows the fishermen to use the nets for a long time, but also allows for proper disposal, a key environmental control measure.
According to Fisheries experts, Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water lake, between 2007 and 2010, lost more than 93%of its fish stocks due to open access, limited surveillance and governance which are also rampant in all landing sites. The production of legally compliant nets by UFM is aimed at supporting fish conservation measures in Uganda.
Work Place Improvements: UFM provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees. The company employs more than 180 staff, majority of whom are women, and contributes to an improvement in their quality of lives by providing them with a steady income.. UFM also provides ongoing support and handholding to employees in areas such as health education and sanitation practices, savings and personal finance management.
Community Development: One of the objectives for the setting up of UFM was to support fishing communities in a sustainable way. The provision of legally compliant fishnets to fishermen allows the huge catches but ensures the sustainability of the sector.
Additionally, with the recognition of fishermen as a special interest group, UFM continues to provide skills transfer and on-going capacity building to fishermen in the following key areas:
1. HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention;
2. Malaria prevention;
3. Entrepreneurship and Small Business management;
It is the objective of UFM to ensure that the fisheries sector continues to have health, able-bodied persons.