UNBS Opens Regional Food safety laboratory in Gulu city

In Summary
  • The Equipment for the Laboratory was donated by VODP through Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) funded by the Danish Government.
Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, the Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS),
Image: UNBS

Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has opened a Food Safety Testing Laboratory for Northern Region based in Gulu.

The Regional Food Safety Laboratories will provide conformity assessment services to Enterprises and Industries involved in processing and value addition to ensure that their products meet the minimum quality standards before being put on the market.

The Laboratories will be testing both food and non-food products such as edible fats and oils, milk and milk products, water, fruits and vegetables, cereals and cereal products, grains and animal products, among others.

According to Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, the Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), the Bureau intends to open similar Testing Laboratories for Eastern Region based in Mbale and for Western Region based in Mbarara in the near future.

He noted that by moving the Testing Laboratories nearer to the majority of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) based in the countryside, the cost of doing business will reduce since Enterprises who used to seek testing services from UNBS Central Laboratories in Kampala can now get them at Regional Offices.

He also expects compliance to quality standards to improve and competitiveness of locally manufactured products enhanced.

While officiating the launch, Hon. Francis Mwebesa, Minister of trade, Industry and cooperatives has commended the Bureau’s initiative of decentralizing its services to the Regional Offices as this will support the Government’s Industrialization Agenda, given that the Government has opened up a number of Industrial Parks across the country.

Hon. Francis Mwebesa, Mister of trade, Industry and Cooperatives
Image: UNBS

He noted that the Government programs such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) which is expected to stimulate production and value addition will require UNBS services of providing quality assurance to enable such products access both the domestic and export markets.

For her part,  Gulu City Woman MP, Betty Aol Ochan,Pledged to advocate and lobby for UNBS to ensure whatever the organization plan for succeeds in Parliament.

According to Mr. Ebiru, the MAAIF-VODP Project has provided Laboratory Equipment worth USD 988,470 while Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) through the Danish Government has so far provided Laboratory Equipment worth USD 4,455,283 to the Bureau.

The Danish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen, on his part applauded  the Bureau for putting the support given to the best use and hoped that this will significantly contribute to the safety and quality of Ugandan made products on the market, as well as support the country’s Industrialization Agenda and Economic Development.

He urged UNBS to prioritize vulnerable Enterprises which are owned by Women and Youth so that they are able to produce safe and quality products which are competitive on the market to provide them livelihood.

He further tasked the Enterprises to take advantage of the testing facility in order to benefit from emerging Regional and Continental Markets such as EAC and AfCFTA by exporting quality products.