Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze has appointed an 11-member committee on issues of quality and the regulatory frameworks of agro chemicals and agro-inputs. The team was unveiled during a press conference at Uganda Media Centre on July 19th 2021.
According to him, much as application of agrochemicals in agriculture has boosted yield increase of agricultural crops and soil fertility to pest management, and increased production in livestock, there have been growing levels of low efficacy of available agrochemicals in Uganda.
“This prompts the question – what is the problem? Is the problem the quality of drugs because of weak government regulation? (Are fake drugs being dumped onto our market?). Is it poor application by farmers? Or it’s an issue of disease resistance against the available drugs?.” Asks the Minister.
He said that the appointed team will be supported by a Secretariat at the Ministry who will include technical officers at the Ministry and relevant Agencies. He said that the team has been appointed in response to the frequent outcry of farmers regarding the quality and efficacy of animal and crop drugs.
Tumwebaze also said the development is in line with Government program to move more people into the money economy through increased agricultural production and productivity. “… the discussion on the efficacy of agrochemicals has taken centre stage in the public domain over the past few months.”
The team is headed byProf. John David Kabaasa(Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio security (CoVAB), Makerere University), Dr. Eve Kasirye Alemu(vice chairperson and International Consultant, Standards, Quality Assurance), Dr. Stevens Kisaka(secretary and Lecturer Makerere University), Dr. Jullian Omalla(Chief Executive Officer, Delight Uganda Limited).
Others include Beatrice Byarugaba(Agriculture Consultant/Agronomist), Dr. John Nuwagaba(Chairman, Uganda Veterinary Board), Hudda Mahmood(Chairman Technical Working Group on Agriculture under the Presidential Investors’ Round Table), Tayebwa Rutamwebwa(Chief Executive Officer, Mutungo Dairy Training Centre), Dr. Patrick Vudriko(Makerere University), Flora Kiconco(Leagal Counsel) and Dr. Ben Ssekamatte(consultant).
The secretariat members at Agriculture Ministry include Dr. Peter Beine(NAGRC& DB), Fred Mayanja and Charlotte Kemigyisha(communications support).
What the committee will do
The committee according to Minister Tumwebaze will study and profile the various agrochemicals, acaricides and inputs and their various sources that are available on the market in Uganda, study and profile the supply chain of agrochemicals, acaricides and inputs in Uganda with a view to establish existing gaps and loopholes in policy, regulatory frameworks and usage.
The team will also study and inquire into the forms of complaints and their probable root causes regarding the quality of agrochemicals, acaricides and inputs from the farmers and other stakeholders in the entire value chain, review the appropriateness of the current Government policy, institutional mandates and regulatory frameworks for agrochemicals, acaricides and inputs among other roles.