The Office of the Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to improve their efforts towards eliminating fake agriculture products.
A report that was presented during the annual government performance review retreat indicated that 40% of agricultural goods used in Uganda are “fake” which has left farmers in losses, hence the poor performance of the agriculture sector.
Most of the counterfeit products include seedlings, pesticides, animal vaccines and fertilizers.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhankan Rugunda, as one of the resolutions from the retreat, said the Ministry of Agriculture together with UNBS were obligated to make sure that these fake products were eliminated from the markets in order to protect the farmers.
“This is something that has been talked about over and over again. Farmers are frustrated because the products on the markets are unable to effectively solve agricultural problems. I therefore call upon the ministry of agriculture and UNBS to pay extra attention to this problem,” Rugunda said.
However, the Agriculture Minister, Vincent Ssempijja, noted that the main problems facing agriculture at the moment are bad weather and use of outdated means of farming, which he says they are working on solutions.
“There is inadequate numbers of extension workers in district, inadequate funds which are even released late and other problems like the persistent fall army worm pest and resistance to tick acaricides. However we have found solutions to some of those problems and I am convinced that I’d agriculture could be given priority in the next financial budget, it would do much better,” he revealed.
Agriculture remains the biggest sector for Uganda with almost 80% of the population depending on it. However, reports indicate the sector is continuously underperforming.
If the government is to achieve its main of objectives of peace, infrastructure development and human resource, wealth creation, job creation and market access, agriculture will have to be given more attention and funds.