EU threatens to impose new ban on Ugandan agriculture exports
Topics: UGANDA AGRICULTURE EXPORT
The Minister’s worries stem from a yellow warning issued by the EU over severe chemical contamination of horticulture produce being exported by farmers in the country, the third time in four years.
In 2015, hot pepper export to Europe was suspended for more than a month due to poor storage issues, pesticide residues and packaging (amongst others).
Speaking at the annual National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) review meeting on Thursday, Ssempijja, said that several consignments of agriculture produce shipped to Europe have again been rejected and destroyed over poor quality and presence of high contents of poorly mixed agro chemicals used to treat or preserve them.
He says the European Union has resolved to audit the sector in October for compliance to international and European Union Health standards before slapping a fresh ban in the event of non-compliance.
According to the Agriculture Minister, the EU has set up a telecommunication hotline for alerting government on contaminated food consignment to Europe for government to track down farmers producing those bad agro-products alongside the middlemen who supply them to European markets.
Dispatch.ug reports on several officials in the Agriculture ministry being worried about the looming ban on Uganda’s fresh food exports, which could hit the country’s horticulture sector hard.
If the products fail the audit, Uganda could be slapped with a ban for non-compliance with EU Phytosanitary (plant health) standards.
Uganda has on several occasions received warning over severe chemical contamination of horticulture exports over the last four years. ■