Connect with us

farm news

Agriculture ministry impounds fake inputs worth Shs30m

Published

on

By EVE MUGANGA

The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries’ (MAAIF) department of crop inspection and certification has impounded fake inputs worthy Shs30 million in their operations conducted for one week within the country.

The inspectors from the said department impounded tones of fake maize seeds plus dozens of sub-standard and or expired agro chemicals. The fake products were mainly expired seeds, seeds with forged labels, adulterated chemicals, seeds mixed with food colour, among others. Two years back similar operations were conducted and different dealers were arrested and charged.

Mr Isaac Wamatsembe, one of the MAAIF inspectors, said: “Two years back we began operations on counterfeit products and so many people were arrested and many products were impounded, however this time round we have seen a very big impact because compared to last year, at least a few products were impounded and we think conducting these operations can get these inputs off markets.”

He noted that inputs worth millions of shillings were seized from different shops and these were mainly unregistered products, expired products, obsolete products, fake chemicals, defaced products, altered expiry dates, unlabelled products and suspicious products among others.

Mr Fred Muzira, another agricultural inspector said close to 900 litres of unregistered fertilizers called Rapid Gro and Booster were impounded from Nakaseke, Kabarole, Hoima and Masindi among others.

“At least 50 litres of assorted expired insecticides have also been impounded as well as 90kgs of unlabelled fungicide, 57 litres of herbicides and expired seeds. However, compared to previous enforcements we are seeing great improvement,’’ he said.

He added: “Fake and expired drugs and chemicals have been found on the shelves, from where unsuspecting farmers get them only to cause more harm to the health of users, crops and animals.”

Mr Muzira explained that the operation was to assess the level of compliance by the traders and sensitise farmers on where to get genuine seeds from.

Common types of counterfeits

Mr Muzira warns of the most common types or signs of counterfeits.

Mislabeling: This is where the label does not reflect contents in the package. This is often with imports.

Label Reuse: Where a premium product’s label is placed on sub-standard or adulterated products.

Label imitation: Where a premium brand is imitated but the product sub-standard or adulterated. “In seeds, we have found out that it is mostly maize that is counterfeited,” Muzira says. Seed growers, companies, and ago-dealers place grains in the government-issued seed packages, and label them OPV or hybrid varieties.

Consumer ignorance, as it is still difficult for smallholder farmers to determine if a product has been adulterated (diluted or fake) or if it is a sub-standard product (expired or poor quality) based on the label alone.

Labels and packages are tampered with, and the product itself may look and smell likes the authentic product.

But also on top of it all, the profit potential of dealing in counterfeit products motivates ill-intentions within actors across the value chain.

Source: Daily Monitor

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

farm news

Smallholder Farmers Can Now Access Agricultural Credit Facility Without Collateral

Published

on

The Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) has devised a path-breaking innovation of block allocation to enable farmers access loans based on alternative collateral such as chattel mortgages, cash flow based financing, and character-based loans, among others, Dr. Michael Atingi-Ego, Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda, has revealed.

“This innovation is unlocking access to credit in areas with communal land tenure; and most especially, for micro and smallholder farmers who are otherwise excluded for lack of collateral to secure credit.

“By September 2020, the ACF had advanced UGX 2.8 billion to 187 small and micro borrowers with non-traditional collateral under block allocation,” he said.

The ACF is administered by the Bank of Uganda on behalf of the Government of Uganda.

The Deputy Governor said that through this innovation, the ACF working with the participating institutions, has extended loans of up to UGX 20 million to small-scale farmers.

He further said that block allocations support financial inclusion and advance equity in economic activity by serving women and youths with limited property rights.

Dr. Atingi-Ego made the remarks just before he a launched the 2020 Agricultural Finance Yearbook at Imperial Royal Hotel, Kampala on Tuesday.

The Agricultural Finance Yearbook  has produced by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) since 2014/15.

The yearbook contains several agri-financing models for various commodities such as rice, dairy, coffee, among others. The models have some standard features:aggregation of producers for economies of scale, functional linkages between value chain actors (input distributors, extension agents, agri-markets information providers, producers, storage units, marketing agents, processors, financial service providers, wherein some players are ‘lead agents’ in the segments where value chains are weak.

The Ugandan economy is still heavily reliant on agriculture, with 69 percent of households dependent on subsistence farming and nearly 75 percent of all households.

Atingi-Ego  revealed that the share of value-added by the agriculture sector in the economy stands at about 25 percent, presently.

“Boldly facing these facts, it is clear that whenever the BoU announces the Central Bank Rate (CBR), the intended policy signal may not penetrate through to the majority of the population. It is, also, quite evident that the route for the CBR signals to reach the people will be unblocked through agricultural finance,” Atingi-Ego said.

He added: “Fortunately, by seeking to close the information gap between agriculture and finance, these yearbooks bring much-needed illumination to the recesses of information asymmetry, thereby improving risk analysis and credit scoring of agricultural credit.”

 

Continue Reading

farm news

Uganda’s coffee exports on the rise

Published

on

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) says that the country’s coffee exports are increasing, showing a gradual rise in the last two years.

“Coffee exports for Sep 2019 to Oct 2020 totalled to 5,409,054 bags worth $513.99m compared to 4,465,534 bags worth $435.81m the previous year,” UCDA noted in a tweet on Wednesday.

“This is a 20% and 18% increase in quantity and value. Performance attributed to increase in production, fruitation of new coffee trees and good weather,” the authority added.

In the last one year (since June 2019), the highest earnings from coffee exports of $48.2m were registered in January 2020 followed by the August 2019 earnings of $46.3m.

More so, Uganda’s coffee was ranked third best in the world by cup tasters who graded 1,229 coffees from around the world.

According to the Research Gate, studies show that Uganda is one of the largest producing and exporting countries of coffee products in the world.

Coffee production has heavily contributed to both domestic and foreign earnings in the country.

Moreover, coffee also serves as a primary source of labour, especially for the rural smallholder farmers.

Original Post: New Vision

Continue Reading

farm news

Agriculture rebounds as economy recovers

Published

on

Prices of agricultural products are starting to rebound as the easing of lockdown measures in Uganda open up places of food consumption.

Evans Nakhokho, the chief manager, Agribusiness at Centenary bank, said during a thought-leadership forum hosted by the bank that economic recovery interventions had triggered a five per cent increase in food prices.

“The five percentage point price improvement is largely attributed to the gradual recovery of activities in the agricultural sector and the economy as a whole. A case in point is the improved price of matoke and other foodstuffs,” Nakhokho said.

Key to this recovery is the role that has been played by both financial and non-financial services in helping to ease the access of credit to framers, which, according to Nakhokho, raised the fortunes in the sector.

“Financing plays an instrumental role in boosting agricultural activities. The structured ecosystem that focuses on both financial and non-financial services has enabled the utilization of credit. This year, we have disbursed close to Shs 600 billion, of which 60 per cent has been issued to smallholder farmers.”

The symbiotic relationship shared by the banking sector and agriculture means that both have been pivotal to each other’s recovery efforts, according to Nakhokho.

“Agriculture financing contributes about 12 per cent of the total lending to all sectors in the banking industry, which is approximately Shs 2 trillion,” he said.

Beyond the financing, banks have also offered guidance to their customers in relation to managing their credit and how it can be invested for a strong return on investment, according to Nakhokho. He said they had reviewed business projects and even restructured the loans to make it easier for customers to pay back the money.

LESSONS

Mona Ssebuliba, chief operating officer, Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi), said their focus as an organization has been on stabilizing and strengthening financial institutions to ensure that agribusiness financing is supported.

“This has been implemented by rescheduling lines of credit (principal and interest) for a period of 12 months, reduced interest rate from an average of 13.5 per cent to 8.2 per cent on all running facilities…”

Ssebuliba said. Ssebuliba said farmers have to improve their businesses if they are to survive other challenges. He advised commercial farmers to have “the ability to swiftly adapt to improved business models, digitizing for improved resilience, business monitoring, and putting in place business continuity plans for the unexpected occurrences…”

ASSESSING COVID IMPACT

Martin Fowler, the agriculture adviser, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Uganda, recently stated that the Covid-19 lockdown presented mixed results in the prices of food. According to Fowler, there was a slight spike in staple food prices between March and April, followed by a slight decline, though, to August.

“Maize prices rose rapidly in the early weeks of Covid-19 lockdown (mid- March to April) from Shs 1,129 to Shs 1,458 per kg. This trend was caused by a combination of panic buying, speculation, government purchases and supply-chain disruptions. Other staples mirrored this trend,” Fowler said.

According to Fowler, food prices currently remain close to (significantly above, in the case of beans) 2019 levels and the five-year (2015-2019) averages, which shows that the sector has for the meantime managed to weather the storm from the impact of Covid-19 on the agricultural sector.

Effecting of the lockdown by the government, therefore, led to a decline in effective demand for food, which reduced household incomes, according to USAID.

Agriculture experts have now projected that the significant loss of formal sector jobs and incomes as a result of the impact of Covid-19 will continue to impact negatively the domestic demand for food, and their prices on the market. Similarly, international and regional demand prospects for agricultural commodities remain uncertain despite the improvement in food prices.

Original Post: The Observer

Continue Reading

Resource Center

Legal Framework

READ BY CATEGORY

Facebook

Trending