Agriculture Minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja told Journalists in Kampala on Friday that the European Union conducted an audit on Uganda’s agriculture exports chain starting from production, transportation and packaging among others, last month, for which a report is still awaited.
Uganda can still export its
agricultural produce to the European Union market despite a yellow card warning
issued by the bloc over severe chemical contamination of horticulture exported
Agriculture Minister Vincent
Bamulangaki Ssempijja told Journalists in Kampala on Friday that the European
Union conducted an audit on Uganda’s agriculture exports chain starting from
production, transportation and packaging among others, last month, for which a report is still awaited.
The audit was intended to ensure compliance
to international and European Union Health standards. It also sought to establish
whether Uganda has started implementing animal registration or put in place
mechanisms to track farmer compliance to international standards for among
others determining the age of livestock destined for exports to Europe. In the
event of noncompliance, the EU bloc would then consider a ban on Ugandan agricultural
The Minister, however, says that a
wrap up of the audit indicated that Uganda is safe as long as it meets the sanitary
requirements of its products. The
Minister explains that the audit also emphasized necessary training, clustering
and technological registration of farmers.
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According to the Uganda National
Bureau of Standards (UNBS), 80 per cent of Uganda’s total exports consists of
agricultural products with the most important commodity being coffee (22 per cent of total exports) followed by tea, cotton, copper, oil and fish.
Earlier in August, Ssempijja said the EU
has already indicated to the government that some of the tests it conducted in
Europe discovered the presence of harmful drugs such as marijuana in some of
the cabbages imported from Uganda.
Back then, he explained that Marijuana
was found attached inside the cabbage heads, leading experts to conclude that
farmers intentionally placed the illicit drugs during the early head formation
for the leafy vegetable to naturally enclose them before maturity.
The discussion came ahead of the Agribusiness Matchmaking Expo and
Disruptive Agricultural Technological (DAT) Innovation Challenge scheduled to
take place next week in Kampala. The event is to facilitate the implementation
of the Government of Uganda’s Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).
The project valued at USD 150
million will be implemented in 57 districts, where farmers who are engaged in
growing and trading in maize, beans, cassava, rice and coffee will be supported
to access subsidized inputs using an electronic voucher (e-voucher) system and grants
for post-harvest and value addition facilities, among others.
The Expo, according to Ssempijja,
will be a one-stop-shop where farmer Organizations will have access to vetted
suppliers of equipment matched to the specific needs outlined in their business