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Ugandan Exporters Urged On Phytosanitary Standards

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By Prossy Nandudu

South Africa’s ambassador to Uganda, Lulama Xingwana, has called for adherence to phytosanitary requirements for exporters in order to grow trade.  

For example, for one to export agricultural products, the shipment should have been inspected by concerned authorities including the agriculture ministry and standards bodies.

The inspection is to ensure that what is being exported is free from pests, chemicals and conforms to the plant health requirements set by importing countries.

“We as Africans have standards that will ensure that we don’t import diseases through avocados, pineapples and also when you import apples or grapes, you must make sure that they are not bringing diseases into the agricultural sector,” Xingwana said. 

Stephen Asiimwe, Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) interacting with the High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Paul Amoru during the press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
Stephen Asiimwe, Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) interacting with the High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Paul Amoru during the press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Photo by Shamim Saad

She made the call yesterday (February 7) at the Uganda Media Centre, during a briefing on the upcoming Uganda-South Africa Trade Summit, set for later this month, in Pretoria, South Africa. 

The summit is expected to be graced by the two heads of state and to market Uganda’s beauty, and economic potential of becoming Africa’s leading destination for trade tourism and investment.

Xingwana said the agriculture ministry of South Africa and that of trade have organised free training sessions on standards required for exports in fruits, animals and other animal products, plus other agriculture products.

“Those trained and accepted in South Africa will be in a position to export to china, Indonesia and Europe because their exports will be meeting the required standard,” she added.

To emphasise her call, chairperson of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) Odrek Rwabogo called on exporters to adhere to the set standards.

“Standards are the only way to go. It doesn’t matter how much you have or sell if you cannot sell and cannot invest in the value chain,” Rwabogo said.

(L-R) Lilly Ajarova, Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, South Africa High Commissioner to Uganda, Her Excellency Lulu Xingwana and the High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Paul Amoru during the press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, February 7, 2023
(L-R) Lilly Ajarova, Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, South Africa High Commissioner to Uganda, Her Excellency Lulu Xingwana and the High Commissioner of Uganda to South Africa, Paul Amoru during the press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, February 7, 2023

On his part, Uganda’s high commissioner to South  Africa, Paul Amoru, said the summit to be held in South Africa for the first time should be used by Ugandans to forge business partnerships.

A total of 160 businesses and associations in areas of agribusiness, tourism, trade and mining, among others have confirmed participation, according to the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), a membership body, that is organising the event.

The Chairperson, Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development Odrek Rwabogo speaking during a press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
The Chairperson, Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development Odrek Rwabogo speaking during a press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

According to PSFU executive director Steven Asiimwe, during the summit, side events in which Uganda’s private sector and that from South Africa including the 500,000 Ugandans living in South Africa will engage and forge ways of increasing Uganda’s export earnings from South Africa. 

At the moment, Uganda earns $20m from exports to South Africa, compared to about $120m that South Africa earns from Uganda.

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