UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) with support from the Danish government has opened a 3rd Food Safety Testing Laboratory for the Western Region based in Mbarara City. 

To make sure that they fulfill the minimum quality standards before being put on the market, the Regional Food Safety Laboratories will offer conformity assessment services to Businesses and Industries engaged in the processing and value addition of both Food and Non-Food.

A few examples of such commodities are beef, milk, other milk products, edible fats and oils, water, honey, fruits and vegetables, grain, cereals, and cereal goods, as well as other animal products.

The UNBS, according to Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, Executive Director, has already established comparable Food Testing Laboratories to serve the Northern Region situated in Gulu City and another for the Eastern Region based in Mbale City.

He noted that by moving these Testing Laboratories closer to the Regional Offices, the majority of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) based in the countryside will experience a decrease in operating costs since they can now obtain testing services from the Regional Offices instead of the UNBS Central Laboratories in Kampala.

Additionally, he anticipates that total local product quality compliance will increase and become more competitive in both domestic and international markets.

Given that the government has opened up several industrial parks across the nation, the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Honorable Francis Mwebesa, applauded the Bureau’s initiative to decentralize its services and bring them closer to the Regional Offices to support the Government’s Industrialization Agenda.

He pointed out that government programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Agro-Industrialization are anticipated to boost production and value addition, necessitating UNBS services to provide quality assurance so they may access both local and international markets.

Mr. Ebiru thanked the Development Partners for their confidence in the Bureau by committing such a sizeable amount of funds worth USD 4,455,283 to improving the Bureau’s quality infrastructure, which is essential for promoting trade and the consumption of safe products as well as promoting industrialization, import substitution, and export promotion.

According to H.E. Signe Winding Albjerg, the Danish Ambassador to Uganda, the UNBS Laboratories, which were established in Mbale City and Gulu City, have already had an impact on speeding up product testing, improving consumer protection, and facilitating cross-border trade, where standardized standards are essential for market access to the EAC Regional Market.

She urged the companies to use the new laboratories in Mbarara City to expand their operations and engage in the trading of safe goods.

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