By Prossy Nandudu
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has appealed to members of the Grain Council of Uganda, to work with small grain producers and aggregators to abide by the grain standards.
Working with small scale grain producers and traders, by teaching and showing them the right parameters and standards to follow, will improve the quality of maize traded hence reducing rejections of Ugandans grains due to poor quality.
The call was made by the deputy executive director of UNBS, Patricia Ejalu during a breakfast meeting with members of the Grain council, Minister of East African Community Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, warehouse receipt system and USAID among others at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.
According to Ejalu due to informal nature of grain trade, which accounts for 80% of the traded grains, Uganda continues to lose out on the regional markets and yet it is one of the East African countries with surplus maize production.
To sustain the markets, Dr John Jagwe from AGRA Africa said adherence to standards should be one of the ways through which only quality grains can be traded in the region.
For that to happen, he called on members of the grain council to work with UNBS, understand the standard and then translate it to smaller grain producers so they too can apply them.
“There are things we have to do to access these markets like translating grain standards to make them known to sector players. Let us know how can we domesticate the standards so we can have sanity in the maize sector just as it is for coffee,” said Jagwe.
He added for the coffee sector, farmers no longer dry it on the bare ground the same should be enforced among maize traders and producers.