Industrialists task UNBS on standards

Members of the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association inspect dried fruit at the Negonja Organics factory in Luweero District on June 24. Photo / Dan Wandera

What you need to know:

  • The group made the request during an engagement and awareness meeting for selected representatives from the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association organised by the UNBS in Luweero District last week.

A section of members of Uganda Small Scale Industries Association have urged the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to sensitise them about the standards of products and certification process.

The group made the request during an engagement and awareness meeting for selected representatives from the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association organised by the UNBS in Luweero District last week.

Ms Jennifer Namatovu, a herbalist in Luweero District, said the lack of certification of her products made it difficult to send them to other parts of the country. 

“As herbalists, the products that we process attract clients from the different parts of the country but we require certification before we send them to the market,” Ms Namatovu said.

 She added: “Our engagements with the UNBS revealed that the [certification] process requires inspection of our premises and testing of our products. This can be initiated at any time. Certification is important when exporting products.”

Mr Stephen Barasa, the chief executive officer of Nagonja Organics in Zirobwe Sub-county, Luweero District, said all consumable products have certain standards they have to comply with, especially those meant for export.

“Before exporting our fruits, we initiated the inspection of our premises by UNBS as part of the first step. It was a tiresome process since we were focused on the export market that requires meeting international standards,” he said.

Mr Barasa added that hygiene of premises is the biggest issue that industrialists and manufactures face when inspections are carried out.

“UNBS is now engaging industrialists and manufacturers on how best they can initiate the certification process, Mr Barasa said.

In an interview with the Monitor on Friday last week, Ms Patricia Bageine Ejalu, the deputy executive director of UNBS, said: “It is advisable that you seek advice and expertise in what you don’t know. Do not depend on rumors regarding the certification process. Take time to interact with people that have gone through the certification process and initiate the process by contacting the UNBS.”

 She added: “When you fear spending money to ensure that you progress with standards, penetrating the export market will be a complicated subject. For the small industrialists, the certification fee is Shs500,000 while the big industrialists pay Shs1m.”

Ms Ejalu said UNBS is not only about enforcing standards but also ensuring that products meet the standards put in place for the safety of the consumers. 

“We are rolling out a programme to engage the manufacturers and industrialists of both the small and medium enterprises to the best they can to appreciate the certification process and the general standards,” she reveals.

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