Saturday, April 13, 2024
Home News Agriculture Ministry To Register Fruit Export Farmers

Agriculture Ministry To Register Fruit Export Farmers

by admin
0 comment

Every grower and company intending to produce fruits and vegetables for export is required to register their farms, according to the ministry of agriculture, animal industry, and fisheries (MAAIF).

The ministry says that the intervention is aimed at minimizing national sanitary and phytosanitary (NSP) noncompliance. The NSP measures are actions taken to protect human health through the protection and enhancement of the health and safety of plants and animals.

The National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) has now commenced mapping activities and registration of growers or farms as well as pack houses/exporters of fruit and vegetables.

Carol Nankinga, assistant commissioner of Phytosanitary and Quarantine at MAAIF, said that all parties are required to implement a coding system traceable from the farm.

Nankinga made the remarks during the national capsicum event at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

She noted that a database of the fresh fruit and vegetable growers and exporters is now being maintained to allow improved communication and collaboration of the NPPO with growers, exporters, and their associations.

The information will help policymakers make data-based decisions. It will also help research experts on pest management, validation of traps, pest and disease surveillance, and provide a platform for NSP issues.

Fred Zake, the Executive Director at Hortifresh. (Photos By Sarah Nabakooza)
Fred Zake, the executive director at Hortifresh.

Christine Nakijoba, a lead farmer of fruits and vegetables in Mukono district, encouraged farmers to register and get codes, saying that this system helps them to be assured of the market before planting.

She explained that where a farmer gets a contract from the exporter and in case of losses, they can easily be compensated.

Fred Zake, the executive director at Hortifresh, said Uganda is the second largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV) in the sub-Saharan region after Nigeria, with about 5.3 million tonnes per year and the potential to export more.

He noted that the sector is also highly challenged by the limited use of good agricultural practices. He said this leads to the selling of products to low-value markets, stringent regulations, and requirements in key export markets.

Experts say many farmers are not well educated and trained, for instance, in the application of pesticides at the farm. This has resulted in a lot of unsafe fruits and vegetables on the market.

The information irregularities across the supply chain have further limited opportunities for the sector to grow its market share beyond borders.

Other challenges include farmers’ using poor-quality packaging materials. Many products can be damaged during transportation to the market.

Zake added that a cocktail of these challenges has partly seen increased post-harvest losses-averaging about 40% in the region. He said the sector is significantly underperforming compared to other East African Community partner states, and yet Uganda has a huge potential in terms of natural resource endowment.

He added that horticulture is among the top-four export revenue earners in Uganda, posting an annual growth rate of 13% over the past ten years, majorly employing women. The sector is mostly and mainly dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ugandan fruits and vegetables are consumed locally and mainly exported to North America, Asia, the East African Community, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Download Vision Group Experience App

Follow Us

All Rights Reserved © Harvest Money 2023