UGANDA – In order to make food standards easier for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to adopt and implement, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), with assistance from Advance Afrika under the Action for Livelihood Enhancement in Northern Uganda (ALENU) Project, has simplified food standards into user-friendly guidelines (MSMEs).
The easy-to-use awareness materials, which have been translated into the Acholi and Alur languages, were created using twenty-two (22) standards, including a code of practice for hygiene and specifications for food items like apiaries, local poultry, beans, soybeans, tomatoes, onions, groundnuts, freshware potatoes, moringa, and vegetables.
“Standards are technical documents. For them to be well understood, we must simplify them by writing them in a language that is easily understood to ease their uptake and implementation. That way, the benefits are realised by the users,” said Mr. Andrew Othieno, the Manager – Standards at UNBS.
The target audience for these materials is in six districts of Agago, Amuru, and Omoro in the Acholi sub-region, Nebbi, Pakwach, and Zombo in WestNile sub-region, with a focus on improving livelihoods through increased and diversified food production, enhanced market access opportunities and better maternal and child nutrition.
“In addition to simplifying and translating the food standards, we are going to train farmers in the selected districts on how to use them, because products must meet the standards to access markets,” said Innocent Sheila, The Director of Finance and Administration at Advance Afrika.
The ALENU) project funded by the European Union and supervised by the Office of the Prime Minister is worth Euros 4.3M (USD 4,180,051) and is aimed at improving the livelihoods of 35,000 people.
“The ALENU project started in 2020 and will conclude in April 2023. This intervention is focusing on production, marketing, health, and nutrition for 200 farmer groups which translates to 5000 households, with each household having an average of 7 beneficiaries,” said Mr. Akera Dophline, MEL Officer at CARITAS.
This project is being implemented in partnership with Caritas Switzerland (lead), Agency for Accelerated Regional Development (AfARD), and Advance Afrika, with the financial support of the European Union.