Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives is set to draft a bill dubbed the “Agriculture Produce Marketing Bill” that is hoped to improve standards of grains and cereals at harvesting and post-harvest handling processes and trading.
Dr. Joshua Mutambi, the Commissioner Processing and Marketing in the Ministry made the revelation during the launch of the East African grain council (EAGC) Agribusiness Expo 2019 at Kati Kati in Lugogo.
The expo will take place on 21st of this month in Masindi district
Mutambi said the bill is leaned on principles of improving Ugandan and East African standards of grains, getting market for the produce among others.
“Infrastructural storage or warehouse standards for grains will also be improved once the bill is passed into law. The law will also require trained and licensed personnel to work in warehouses, promote competitiveness of grains in the market and regulation of traders,” he said
According to Mutambi, 30 to 40% of harvest is lost due to poor post-harvest and handling processes especially poor drying and poor storage facilities.
He says there is need to train farmers and processors on how to handle harvests and adopt standards set by UNBS.
Mutambi added that traders that purchase gardens especially maize before grains are mature for harvest will also be stopped once the bill is passed into law since gardens are purchased at a throw a way price making farmers gain very little.
Last year the price of maize plummeted to as low as 200 shillings a kilo.
Dr. Agnes Apea Atim, the country director EAGC said that as an organization they look forward to facilitating efficient, structured and profitable grain Trade in East Africa.
She also said the expo will help granting knowledge about new innovations and value addition at seed level, production and processing level.
“The agribusiness exhibition will also provide market opportunities to the farmers and EAGC looks forward to improving competitiveness in the market by improving the quality of grains, providing services to the grain sector, bridging the gap between Government and private sector and Empowering farmers through technology transfer, training and exposure to new innovations and technologies with in the sector,”