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Ugandan Traders Face Tough Sanctions for Exporting Substandard Products

Agriculture minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja says Uganda’s exports are increasingly being blocked from entering the export market due to failure to meet standards. Ssempijja said the rejection of Uganda’s export products has been caused by the presence of harmful organisms and excess pesticide residues. The most affected commodities include peppers (capsicum), Annona (Kitafeli) and roses.
09 Apr 2019 14:31
Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja addressing journalists at media centre

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Licenses of traders attempting to export substandard horticultural products will be revoked in order to protect Uganda’s export interests.    

The measure was unveiled this morning by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries following a stern warning from the European Union about declining standards of Uganda’s exports, especially roses, fruits and vegetables.  

Agriculture minister Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja says Uganda’s exports are increasingly being blocked from entering the export market due to failure to meet standards. Ssempijja said the rejection of Uganda’s export products has been caused by the presence of harmful organisms and excess pesticide residues. The most affected commodities include peppers (capsicum), Annona (Kitafeli) and roses.        

Ssempijja told journalists at the Media Centre in Kampala on Tuesday that the government will be watching exporters, traders and farmers closely to ensure quality products at all levels. He says that Ugandan traders will now be required to introduce their chain of farmers to ministry officials, to be assisted in improving standards.                                                     

Ssempijja said that the ministry will stop the clearance of export consignments of any exporter with more than one interception by the European Union. 

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Cue out…stop clearing them.”// 

Luganda  //Cue in; “ffe nga Ministry…

Cue out…omulimu gwo bulungi.”//  

Ssempijja said he has already appointed a National Task Force comprising both private sector and technical staff to specifically guide compliance on exports and the development of strategies to ensure Ugandan products maintain the current markets, but also penetrate new niche markets. 

“The ministry is planning to procure equipment for analyzing pesticide residues to support export certification for compliance of pesticide residues,” he said.     

Ssempijja added that the ministry is developing and strengthening the online certification system with enhanced security features and training users, exporters, importers and inspectors in e-certification procedures.    

He underscored the importance of meeting EU market standards because it has become a benchmark for other countries, mainly Asia. Uganda stands to lose over USD 100 million that it earns from the export of horticultural products annually. 

Ssempija said that the government is cognizant that it must play a central role in promoting standards of export products because that is a major source of foreign earnings.   

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Cue out…help the farmer.”// 

Luganda //Cue in; era tufunye enkyiiko…  

Cue out:…bino okugenda obweru.”// 

According to Ssempija, these are some of the immediate action plans agreed upon by the European Union and World Trade Organisation.   

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