The government of Uganda has resolved to introduce a program dubbed "farming for exports" through which farmers are to be sensitized on how to produce quality products that meet the European Union (EU) standards.
This was revealed by the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Frank Tumwebaze, during the trialogue between the government, Ugandan private sector, and the European Union (EU), which was aimed at boosting Uganda's Agriculture Exports to Europe. The event was held at the ministry offices in Entebbe last Wednesday.
"We have resolved to work with exporters who already know the quality of products needed in the European market. They will help us to sensitize our farmers on how to improve the quality of their products straight from the garden because we have been told by the EU that low grade of our products starts from the garden," Mr. Tumwebaze said.
He added: "For example, if a farmer plants pineapples, he should have it in mind that it is not only going to be sold here but to be sold to Denmark."
The commissioner of crop inspection and certification at the ministry, Mr. Paul Mwambu, said: "The food gets intercepted in the EU market. Our solution is to fight counterfeit agrochemicals. From 2014 to 2019, there was a general increase in horticulture export volumes from 4,400 metric tonnes to 8,600 metric tons and values. However, there was a proportionate increase in the number of interceptions during the same period due to noncompliance to market sanitary and phytosanitary standards."
He added that flower farm workers reduced from 10,000 in 2019 to 9,000 in 2021, while data shows a decline in the number of farmers growing vegetables from 3,500 in July 2020 to 1,220 by August 2021. The European Union is a major trading partner of Uganda.
Between 2017 and 2020, total trade imports (EUROSTAT) from Uganda to EU were valued at more than €498m (Shs2.1 trillion) and €444m (Shs1.8 trillion) respectively, and exports from the EU to Uganda between 2017 and 2020 were valued at more than €452m (Shs1.9 trillion) and €631m (Shs2.6 trillion) respectively.
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