Prosper

New standards to spur horticulture trade

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Horticultural products on display. The new standards

Horticultural products on display. The new standards are aimed at improving the quality and quantity of production. Photo by Fiswal Kasirye 

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Posted  Tuesday, January 14  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

The code of practice for the horticulture industry will encourage farmers to adopt commercially viable farm assurance schemes.

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New standards have been formulated to bolster Uganda’s Horticultural competitiveness on the international market.

Uganda National Bureau of Standards with support from the Agricultural Business Initiative Trust- aBi Trust has developed three key standards in support of agribusiness.

The standards are mainly designed for horticultural products and coffee, which are rated as high income earners.

Speaking to Prosper Magazine, the Executive Director UNBS said: “The new standards are geared towards enhancing trade competitiveness for Uganda’s export products at the global market”.

Standards
The three standards include: the code of practice for the prevention and reduction of Ochratoxin A (OTA) in coffee, which addresses key practical approaches that can be applied from the farm to the cup, in order to reduce and control the occurrence of a dangerous cancer causing toxin, Ochratoxin A in coffee.

The second standard is the code of practice for the horticulture sector; which is key in guiding farmers in proper agronomic practices and compliance with sector standards from farm through post-harvest to export. The product standard for Chilli/Hot pepper gives the product specifications of Uganda’s most demanded horticulture export.

Benefits
Manyindo said Uganda is blessed with good climate, quality land, relatively abundant water supplies and the challenge of the institution is to make the most of these competitive advantages and the opportunities they present by initiating quality standards.

The code of practice for the horticulture industry will also encourage farmers to adopt commercially viable farm assurance schemes. This will promote the minimization of agrochemical and medicinal inputs to promote their produce for global markets.

“This will make life simpler for growers and their employees,” Manyindo said.
The objective of this partnership is to support the process of developing key standards and codes of practice that are vital for compliance in the horticulture and coffee sectors.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com