The Ugandan government have announced their intentions to register farmers and their livestock to aid in traceability of their products as well as enable the farmers to benefir from the international market.
Mr Vincent Ssempijja who is the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, revealed the plans while speaking at the opening of the National Agricultural Show in Jinja.
According to the Minister, the international market demands all countries that produce foodstuff and crops for the European market to produce traceability.
‘‘They want to know where the products are coming from; they have been impounding and banning all consignments from Uganda if they find one box with issues,” he said.
“Farmers will be registered and their products given barcodes so that if they find a problem with one box, they look for the source and sort out the problem. We cannot enter lucrative market unless farmers register,’’ he added.
Mr Ssempijja added that all the cows must be registered and given birth certificates.
‘‘For cattle farmers, it is going to be worse. You will be registered as a farmer, the cow will be registered, numbered and will have a birth certificate because the importers of our products demand meat for cows aged between 15 to 24 months. So we are going to sell depending on their age,” he added.
Mr Ssempijja further noted that an audit team from the European Union will visit Uganda later this year to ensure all farmers who are producing commodities exported to Europe are registered.
‘‘Apart from traceability of the products, the team also wants to ensure that farmers benefit directly because many of them are cheated by middlemen. Government will not cater for those who defy the order when it comes to markets,” Mr Ssempijja said.
In his message delivered by the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, President Museveni said Ugandans ought to be more competitive so as to effectively and sustainably penetrate the international market.
“People want to know what they are buying to eat, where it is coming from, its quality and what they are spending their money on. Registering farmers is a major requirement; we cannot do without it and if we ignore it, we will lose to competition in the international market.’’