UGANDA – Uganda has become the latest beneficiary of the Food and Agriculture’s (FAO’s) “Strengthening of Capacities and Governance in Food and Phytosanitary Control,” project.

The 5-million-euro project funded by the European Union is set to provide technical support and work with Competent Authorities and other leading institutions in 12 countries that are Members of the African Union (AU) to build up capabilities, strengthen governance and improve strategic planning around two main components: food safety and plant health.

Launched in November last year, the project has so far been introduced in KenyaComorosSeychelles, the Kingdom of EswatiniRwanda, as well as in Mauritius.

The project kicked off last month in order to lay the groundwork for enhancing the Republic of Uganda’s food control system.

It is being carried out in close cooperation with the African Commission Division for Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DARBE) and is co-signed by the Government of Uganda. It is in line with the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Policy Framework for Africa developed by the African Union (AU) to promote trade among AU Member States.

With this project, FAO, which has been providing support in Uganda since 1959, is introducing the FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool designed to assess the national food control system comprehensively, by looking at the entire food chain, including production, distribution, the retail market, and the consumers.

To conduct these assessments, FAO will closely collaborate with local Competent Authorities for Food Safety and relevant stakeholders and propose measures to promote the country’s public health and economic development.

David Livingstone Ebiru, the Executive Director of the nation’s National Bureau of Standards, spoke about the economic and food-related challenges facing Uganda and emphasized the significance of considering food-related projects not only for the population’s nutritional benefits but also for the economic opportunities they can provide.

“The President is always reminding us to stop only working for the stomach…also look at the commercial aspect of food,” he said.

A group of FAO experts will collaborate with Uganda’s Competent Authorities in food safety to conduct the assessment, supporting them through several assessment phases and developing a set of recommendations and a tactical framework to support their implementation.

The project intends to help Uganda comply with international standards, allowing for more regional trade and harmonization.

Presentations, discussions, and case studies were used during the training, which took place in Kampala from April 24 to 28, 2023, to instruct the focal points of the Competent Authorities on the technical aspects of the Tool as well as their respective roles and activities in the coming stages of the project.

The activities included data collection across the whole food control system.

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