What you need to know:
- The EU agricultural policy covers a wide range of areas, including food quality, traceability, trade, promotion of EU farm products and provision of financial support to its farmers.
President Museveni has asked the European Union to open its market to Africa’s food produce to improve farmers’ income and ensure sustained food security.
This is was in a statement released by State House yesterday following the President’s meeting with Ms Bjorg Sandkjaer, the State Secretary and Deputy Minister of International Development from the Kingdom of Norway at State House Entebbe.
“If you can help us with the European market; remove the distortion that was introduced by the European Union when they introduced European Agriculture Policy where you maintain artificial farmers in Europe with subsidies,” the President said.
“Here, we don’t need subsidies. I am a farmer, I have never got any subsidies from anybody and I produce food cheaply for Ugandans. You wonder why the Europeans could not get cheap food from here instead of having that distortion,” he added.
The EU agricultural policy covers a wide range of areas, including food quality, traceability, trade, promotion of EU farm products and provision of financial support to its farmers, according to information from the EU website. Ms Sandkjaer applauded Uganda’s efforts to ensuring food security.
The President and Ms Sandkjaer also discussed income generation and social-economic transformation.
The EU has for several instances either banned or threatened to ban agricultural products from Uganda over poor quality. But EU still remains one of the leading destinations of Ugandan products with an average of $60.7million (Shs213.7b) annually, according to government statistics.
The President said Europe and Africa would greatly benefit if the market is opened up.
“If you are to link Europe and Africa on issue of food, you will be well off. Africa would be well off and Europe would get cheap food. In Uganda we do things easily,” he said, hinting at how Ugandan agricultural products are the favourite in Kenya because of affordability.
President Museveni said due to irrigation, Uganda has a surplus of maize, milk, sugar, among others.
“We are one of the biggest producers of bananas in the world, have surplus milk. Everything is surplus, including beef and sugar. The problem is the market,” he said.