8th July , 2019
Entebbe, 5th July 2019; The Uganda National Bureau of Standards and Directorate of Fisheries with support from the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) have developed simplified guidelines for the fishing industry.
The guidelines will provide basic information on the laws, regulations, procedures and principles for addressing safety and quality of fish products. The guidelines will also be applied during handling, preparation (such as drying), processing, packaging, storage, transport and marketing of fish.
During the handover ceremony of the guidelines document at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in Entebbe, the UNBS Deputy Executive Director in charge of Standards, Ms Patricia Bageine Ejalu said the documents will help fish inspectors to train fishermen and fish handlers on primary processing of fish which will in turn increase its competitiveness at local and international level.
“As UNBS, we want to improve on the quality of products in Uganda especially fish; much as we are focusing on export market, we must make sure that the quality of fish in Uganda meets both national and international standards”. Ms Ejalu said.
The CSN Team Leader for Africa, Mr Graham Holloway said this is a pilot project in Africa funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development. He said that Uganda and Zambia are the first countries to benefit from the project.
“We aren’t producing Commonwealth standards but encouraging Commonwealth countries to train themselves on how to produce quality by learning more on how to use standards that’s why we partnered with UNBS. We wanted to assist real people with real problems of getting their products to market, getting good price for their products which comes with quality,” Mr Holloway said.
Mr Tom Bukenya, the Acting Commissioner of Fisheries at MAAIF control regulations and quality assurance said: “We had a number of these guidelines but they were in English which wasn’t in favor of our people but since these documents have been translated in local languages, they will help inspectors train fishermen on primary processing of fish, which will in turn improve export of Nile Perch and also help to discover export avenues for other fish species.