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MP Bwanika Calls for Standards Body for Agricultural Produce

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Two-time presidential candidate and newly elected Kimaanya-Kabonera MP Dr. Abed Bwanika has underscored the need for a quality body that will streamline Uganda’s agricultural exports.

“We need to have a body known as the National Food Authority. Unless this is put in place, we shall continue losing markets just like that we had got in Iran. This body is supposed to streamline the quality of our maize and meat products, etc. on both our internal and external markets,” said Bwanika.

Bwanika’s suggestion followed revelation by President Yoweri Museveni during the State of the Nation Address last week, that Uganda has lost market for her food products because of poor quality.

“The Iranians came here and they wanted to buy all our maize, their annual demand is 9.4 Million tons. They wanted to buy all our maize because we have good relations with them,” Museveni remarked.

“The problem was ourselves, negligence in handling food we want to sell to people.”

Museveni pointed out that there lies a lot of promise in cereal trade but Ugandans need to be more serious with Post-Harvest handling.

“The global demand for maize (corn) and maize products is 852million metric tonnes, valued at US$153.4billion. Therefore, our production of 5milion tonnes of maize, can be absorbed provided we solve the problem of quality ─ getting rid of the shameful aflatoxins ─ caused by people who mishandle food in harvesting,” he noted.

Commenting on the matter, Hon Bwanika said the solution to this problem is a standardization body and an elaborate policy.

The MP was also backed by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Vice Chairperson Saddam Gayira who pointed out that agricultural standards have declined largely as a result of neglecting extension services and bad politics.

“First he talks about the quality of agricultural products. He should ask himself, when did the quality of agricultural products start declining? Was there a time when the quality of coffee, cotton and other agricultural products was assured?” he said.

“The answer is yes…Is there any LC Chairperson who can task farmers on proper post handling methods? No, because they also need votes,” he added.

 

 

The post MP Bwanika Calls for Standards Body for Agricultural Produce first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Lockdown: Gov’t to Send Direct Cash to Vulnerable People

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The government on Sunday announced that it would not use the direct food distribution system to those affected by the Covid-19 lockdown but will instead send them direct cash.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said the national taskforce on Covid-19 has agreed to send the vulnerable people money via mobile money platform or the voucher system for those without mobile phones.

“We have agreed to have direct payment method and voucher system to provide assistance to the vulnerable people. This time, we shall not give food. People have phones, we shall use mobile money. Those who don’t have phones, we shall use voucher system [to give the relief assistance],” she said.

The Prime Minister said a committee will sit on Tuesday to determine the amount that will be given and when people will start getting the support.

This comes after President Museveni on Friday announced a total lockdown to contain the surging Covid-19 cases by halting public and private transport and restricting other businesses. He also brought down curfew time to 7pm from 9pm.

During last year’s Covid-19 induced lockdown, the government distributed food to the urban poor but many people did not receive the portions while others received half of it.

Auditor General John Muwanga reported that items valued at 55.8 billion Shillings which were distributed under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) lacked sufficient evidence of acknowledgement to enable him verify the recipients.

He also reported the quality checks by Uganda National Bureau of Standard-UNBS on a sample of 14,069 metric tonnes of maize flour and 8,547 metric tonnes of dry-beans which established that 2,615 metric tonnes of maize flour and 2,017 metric tonnes of dry-beans intended for distribution by OPM did not pass quality checks.

The government on Sunday reported 1,367 new infections and 34 new deaths, pushing the cumulative total of infections to 71,543 and deaths to 660.

The post Lockdown: Gov’t to Send Direct Cash to Vulnerable People first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Ethiopia elections 2021: Abiy Ahmed faces first vote amid conflict

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His reformist zeal saw him win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, but just a year later, he waged a military operation in his own country – deploying troops to Tigray to oust the TPLF as the region’s ruling party after it seized military bases in what Mr Abiy saw as a bid to overthrow him.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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New Cabinet to Be Sworn-In Today

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Parliament has scheduled today Monday 21, 2021 for the inauguration of the new cabinet ministers.

For the whole of last week, 79 ministers were vetted by Parliament’s Appointments Committee led by Deputy Speaker Anita Among.

Two other appointees missed out reportedly due to health related challenges.

The swearing in event is being conducted with extreme caution by ensuring that all in attendance are free of Covid19.

President Yoweri Museveni was on Friday 18 forced to lock the country after fatalities of the novel virus spiked again.

Earlier on, Parliament was forced to scale down its work force after rumours that over 100 Members of Parliament were battling Covid-19.

The Institution’s Director of Communications Chris Obore however clarified on Friday that those affected attended crowded events; The State of Nation Address (SONA) and Budget Reading events.

The above events were held on June 4 and June 10, 2021 respectively.

“Over 3,000 people that included MPs, staff of Parliament, Police, ISO, SFC, Service Providers, Journalists, Prisons staff and invited guests were tested for COVID-19,” Obore explained.

“Out of all those tested for the events, approximately 100 came out positive. Note that Parliament has 529MPs (approximately 30 Parliament staff were manning the events,” he pointed out.

Obore refuted allegations the one hundred cases were from a sample of more than 3000 and disclosed that some had already recovered.

The post New Cabinet to Be Sworn-In Today first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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