By Alice Lubwama
The ministry of trade and industry is working on the agricultural produce marketing bill that will regulate the processing and marketing activities in the grain sector.
While launching the East African grain council agriculture business expo in Kampala today, the commissioner processing and marketing in the ministry of trade DR Joshua Mutambi said that the bill once passed into law will also enforce grain standards , in order to make grains from Uganda competitive in the region to fetch higher payments.
“Draft principles have already been developed and submitted to ministry of finance for clearance.’’ Mutambi added
According to Mutambi Uganda has a comparative advantage in the grain sector that’s why Government is now promoting more of the large scale farming for sale and also working hard to put in place standard storage infrastructures.
The country director East Africa Grain council Agnes Atim Apea who is also a rice farmer from Lango region said although there is a slight increment in the agriculture sector in coming financial budget 2019/20120, the money should be allocated well to help the real farmers.
Apea also asks government to review the method used to access agriculture credit facility to enable rural farmers utilize it without any hurdles.”I know there is agriculture credit facility but it is very difficult for the rural farmers to access it.” Apea noted
She also asks for more investment in mitigation of the effects of climate change because it real affects the farmers.
“How I wish to see more investment in how to support the farmers mitigate the effects of climate change because the farmers are really trying their best.’’ she said
Atim noted that this season she planted over 500 hectares of rice seeds but by the time the rains came, all the little rice that had come out had dried up.
Climate change and investment in irrigation and supporting water for production will be very critical. Agribusiness expo 2019 organized by the east African grain council
will take place at Masindi Agricultural Demonstration and training center on 21st and 22nd of this month.