Uganda is currently exporting 5.8 million tons of fresh fruits and vegetables worth US$35 million a year, second only in Sub-Saharan Africa to Nigeria. Thanks to a project aimed at helping the country comply with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, Uganda is enjoying increased capacity to access more profitable regional and European markets for its fruits and vegetables.
Recently, 1,400 smallholder farmers were trained on SPS compliance to facilitate trade on goods including chillis, jack fruit, mango, basil, bitter guard and okra. The training stressed the importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), food safety and awareness of SPS export requirements. A total of 70 Inspectors and Commissioners have also been equipped with tools to conduct their work – such as inspection kits and personal protective clothing.
The government’s Uganda Vision 2040 identified agriculture as one of the key opportunities to strengthen the Ugandan economy and transform society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country. The project helped map and prioritize which phytosanitary services required support and built the capacity of inspectors, farm scouts, farmers, transporters and traders on pest management along the production value chain.