Authorities in Uganda have made it mandatory for herders in the country to get birth certificates for their cattle.
Vincent Ssempijja, the country’s minister for agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, announced this on Wednesday.
The mandatory registration is part of requirements for food exportation to European countries so that food can be traced.
“They want to know where the meat and crop products are coming from. They have been impounding and banning all consignments from Uganda if they find one box with issues,” Ssempijja said at the official opening of the National Agricultural Show in Jinja, southern Uganda.
Many African countries still struggle to have the list of cattle owners and create a value chain for the production of dairy products. Cattle rearing on the continent has the capacity to generate $3.7b annually if fully harnessed. The potential for industrial growth is enormous.
“Farmers will be registered and their products, given barcodes so that if they find a problem with one box, they look for the source and sort out the problem. We cannot enter lucrative markets unless farmers register.
“For cattle farmers, it is going to be worse. You will be registered as a farmer, the cow will be registered, numbered and will have a birth certificate because the importers of our products demand meat for cows aged between 15 to 24 months. So we are going to sell the meat depending on their age.”
The minister said an audit team from the European Union will visit the country in September to ensure that all farmers producing commodities destined for Europe are registered. More importantly, the main aim of this initiative will be the removal of such a viable market away from the informal sector and regulate it.
“Apart from the traceability of the products, the team also wants to ensure that farmers benefit directly because many of them are cheated by middlemen. The government will not cater to those who defy the order when it comes to markets", he concluded.
Header Image Credit: allnetafrica.com