Uganda National Burial of Standards (UNBS) has warned that, non-compliance to East African Community (EAC) maize grain standards by maize farmers my create trade burrier because other partner state will not trade with Uganda.
This was pronounced by Pamela Akwap, the Standards Officer at UNBS while speaking to our reporter during an exclusive interview at Country Inn hotel in Masindi town on Monday.
Akwap said that, there is a possibility that even other countries beyond East African Community will not be able to buy maize grains from Uganda due to low standards and people may end up trading within the country.
Akwap added that, standards of maize grain will help to solve conflict between farmers and traders hence smoothening trade and also help to protect the consumers health wise and therefore advised Ugandans to start looking for maize floor having UNBS S and Q marks for standards and quality respectively.
She said that food standards are mandatory since if compromised can negatively affect human health due to high levels of aflatoxins, heavy metals and pesticide residues.
Meanwhile, a four day training of trainers (TOT) for traders on East African Community maize standards also kicked off today at Country Inn in Masindi town.
Emmanuel Alana, the assistant project officer with Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) disclosed that, the TOT is meant to ensure traders comply with EAC maize grain standards as a way of building capacity to meet the needs of external market.
Alana wants people at the grass root to start implementing practices that will lead to production of high quality and standard maize grains whose market exist in Kenya, Southern Sudan and Tanzania so that they can be able to sell at high prices and get out of poverty.
Alana disclosed that during the TOT, topics like maize quality properties and standards, grain handling and storage, inventory management and recording, sampling and grading, pest management, equipment maintenance, health and safety will be covered.