UGANDA – Uganda Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (UGAFMA), the umbrella organization for animal feed producers, has begun a campaign to rid the industry of quacks by requiring all dealers to adhere to certain standards.
Members of UGAFMA met with representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Trade to discuss enforcing standards in their industry earlier in the week.
“As players in this sector, you have been crying because of feed concentrates imported from abroad that you say have seen you lose market for local feeds. However, this problem was brought by yourselves when you disregarded ethics and standards in mixing feeds,” Dr. Samuel Lule the Head of the Desk of Animal Feeds in the Ministry of Agriculture said.
According to him, the chain for animal feeds includes producers, people who mix, dealers, transporters, and farmers, but asserted that standards have been ignored at various points in the chain.
“There are many stakeholders in the chain which shows this business employs many people at different stages but because of lack of standards followed, farmers realized they were making losses from the feeds given to their animals and chicken.
“This is the reason they went for alternatives in form of feed concentrates that local animal feed manufacturers are decrying for pushing them out of business. It is high time we corrected the mistakes,” he said.
The UGAFMA’s Secretary General, David Waliggo, said that they have begun a process to regulate the animal and poultry feed industry.
“We are going to regulate the sector to help improve the quality and quantity produced. We have got an understanding to be formed into a committee with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade, agricultural police, UNBS to ensure accurate supervision of this sector in a bid to weed out sub-standard products,” he said.
Aimable Mbarushimana, the Chairman of UGAFMA, stated that in an effort to realign the industry, they are planning to ensure that inspections by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) will be conducted at the stores of all dealers to verify conformance to standards.
“We want to ensure that the ingredients in the animal and chicken feeds are up to the required standard. We know it will not be an easy war but we shall win. We have to streamline this business to ensure all in the supply chain benefit. This is the only way to help bring sanity to the sector by regulating it,” he said.
According to Waliggo, the dealers would be set up as SACCOs, where they will receive training in standard compliance as well as access to credit facilities and loan information.
To aid with effective oversight, their umbrella organization will also register all merchants in the animal and chicken feeds business.
“We want to ensure we fit in both the local and export markets by manufacturing, mixing, processing, and delivering quality feeds to customers. This can only be done if we are organized and registered but above all enforce standards in this sector,” he said.