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Home Agribusiness Animal Feed Producers Face Jail Term For Uncertified  Facilities

Animal Feed Producers Face Jail Term For Uncertified  Facilities

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Andrew Arinaitwe 

The committee chairperson of the Agriculture, animal industries and fisheries , Jane Okori- Moe has recommended  that animal producers who fail to make applications for storage of animal feeds should face at least six years upon conviction.

The proposals are part of the  recommendations to amend the Animal feeds Bill, 2023 presented  in Parliament  on Tuesday  by the chairperson of the Agricultural committee led by Abim Woman MP, Janet Akech.

The Bill also provides that a person who intends to store, sell or produce animal feed would be required to apply to the designated committee for the approval of the premises.

“A person shall not store animal feeds in premises or produce or sell animal feeds from premises, unless they have been approved,” Okori-Moe said as she added that the request for approval would be accompanied by payment of fees.

Once the committee is satisfied then a certificate of approval is issued for the specific premises.

“Whoever doesnot get approval is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 500 currency points (Sh10m) or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six years or both,” Akech said as he revealed that currently, the premises for most animal feeds businesses are not registered, some premises are multi-purpose and vague.

Concerned about the applicayion of the proposed  law,  Maracha county MP, Denis Oguzu wondered how farmers or animal feed producers  in rural will access the approval of committees to have their storage facilities inspected.

“Can you show us how our committees will work such that our villagers don’t have to suffer,” he asked .

In response to the  Minister for animal husbandry, Bright Rwamirama said that every district had local government representatives who would respond to remote areas.

“We can delegate the matter to extension workers or subject matter specialists,” Rwamirama said.

The Bill also clearly spells out that Animal feed producers  engaged in subsistance farming will not be subjected to the Bill.

Bugiri municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa proposed deregisration of entities found abusing the regulation and the Bill.

However the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka asked legislators to give the process time for the citizens to absorb the law before punitive measures are implemented.

“We are about to regulate these entities for the first time but we also hope to start by first sensitising before we embark on harsh penalties,”  Kiwanuka told legislators.

The Bill shall comply with animal feeds produced or stored in Uganda.

When Erute county South MP Jonathan Odur inquired about the commencement date of the Bill, Kiwanuka said that a Bill comes into force when a Bill has been signed by the President.

“The moment the President has assented to the Bill, and it has been gazetted then it comes into force,” Kiwanuka said.

When Odur insisted on when committee could be consiituted, Kiwanuka said all the committee’s will get consitituted when the law comes into force.

Masaka city MP, Abed Bwanika revealed how the Bill goes beyond just regulating animal feeds but also addresses food that is served on the dining table.

“We should look at the details, if your animal consumes feed with aflatoxins , your meat will also contain aflatoxins,” Bwanika said in bid to alert the audience and MPs on the importance of the Bill to improve the quality of Uganda’s food chain value chain system.

In November, Aimable Mbarushimana, the chairperson of Uganda Animal feeds Manufacturers Association, said that the proposed law is intended to promote the production of safe and nutritious animal feeds to.protect consumers from the dangers of contaminated and adulterated feeds.

“It will put in place standards that will regulate the operations and boost the industry’s competitiveness regionally and internationally,” Mbarushimana said during an interface with legislators on the parliamentary committee of Agriculture.

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