Perez Ochieng

Director, SACOMA Foods and Global Innovation

Perez is an award-winning business leader and scientist, global Women Inventor and Innovator and visionary and innovative business leader in the international food industry, who has initiated and managed groundbreaking projects, such as the IFE Innovation and the award winning SACOMA sweet potato initiative. She has been involved in collaborative scenario planning as well as social research on consumer-driven innovation, food retail models along with other disruptive manufacturing innovations in global food production with a focus on immune building, gut health, women’s health, men’s health, baby health, healthy aging and longevity and quality of life.

Perez has been involved in several disruptive manufacturing innovations in global food production. As an indigenous scientist who combines African traditional knowledge with academic research, she has researched healthy aging and personalised nutrition for the silver community in partnership with University of Kent, and Denmark’s Aarhus University; research into pre-biotic with Queensland University, Australia and research on viscosity for gluten free food for people aged 50+.

While her work over the last 25 years has been on promoting the consumption of natural foods and sustainable food production using novel ingredients through food quality, safety, security, authenticity, traceability as well as safe movement and trade of foods across borders she is also an promoter of the possible effects of future foods like plant-based proteins, insect as food and feed, lab-meat and herbs on health and wellbeing as well single origin coffees.

Perez has been involved in Knowledge Transfer partnership and a number of development projects for food Global Food Manufacturers, African governments, embassies and international organizations on trade (Imports/Exports), small enterprise development, agro business, value chain analysis, quality control systems and other initiatives aimed at improving the business climate in the voluntary, private sectors and public sectors.

She is passionate about the innovation of future foods like plant-based proteins, insects and herbs for health and wellbeing.

She is the founder of SACOMA Global Foods Innovation, an award-winning importer, exporter, manufacturer, and distributor with its own retail chain for organic & natural food & drinks in the United Kingdom together with a training college and retail Launchpad for food businesses that want to get into the UK retail market. Goods are imported from countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, India, Australia, Spain, Italy, Bangladesh, Latin America and many more.

13.45 - 15.00


Opportunities in Uganda’s Agricultural Sector.

Investing and opportunities in agri-finance, agri-tech,
mechanization, agri value chain and accessing the UK

  • Despite hosting 60% of the world's arable land, Africa is a major importer of food, and the war in Ukraine threatens to cut off supplies to much of the continent. How is Uganda attracting international investors to secure its food sustainability?
  • Where are the opportunities in scaling-up the role of Youth, Technology, and Innovation in the Future of Africa’s Agricultural Development? (Andrew A Blanch, Managing Director at Alvan Blanch Development Company Ltd)
  • What is needed in Uganda is guiding policies on relevant technical assistance and a strong enabling environment that allows farmers access to markets, transport, storage, power, and irrigation infrastructure, and to other financial products, affordable finance and even weather insurance. When farmers increase their incomes, they can then build their equity and borrow and invest more. (Mahamoud Andama Director Investments, Uganda Development Bank).
    Which sustainable agribusiness programmes and financing structures have the bank got in place for agri-projects? Which of those agri- innovations are showing promise of sustainable growth and success? What challenges do you see in exporting to UK markets and how to overcome them? Post-harvest handling infrastructure facilities together with leading knowledge on food safety, quality control, handling, storage and processing for shelf life based on relevant local Industrial Research and Intellectual Property Rights for academic researchers backed by adoption of innovations in food science, combination technologies matching the target export market. (Perez Ochieng, Director, SACOMA Foods Innovation)
  • Where are the current investment gaps that need to be filled to benefit the country socially and economically, by promoting expansion and diversification of trade, sustainable/efficient cooperatives, environmentally sustainable industrialization, and technology development to generate wealth for poverty eradication? (Hon. F. Ngobi Gume, Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives)

After the session: The panel will meet those from UK who want to venture in this sector in Uganda, with the aim to drive new business deals and commitments. The Deal Room will provide companies in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors with the opportunity to access information, mentorship, and market entry solutions to support their growth objectives.


One on One meetings with government officials


  1. Brenda Katarikawe Opus, Senior Export Marketing Executive, Uganda Export Promotion Board
  2. Edward Katende, Chairman UDF