The Grain Council of Uganda has called upon the government to ban unlicensed dealers in produce from neighbouring countries because they compromise the quality of Uganda’s agricultural products.
The council’s chief technical advisor, Hamphrey Mutasa, told the media at their Kampala headquarters that unlicensed dealers, mostly from Kenya, travel to Uganda to harvest and transport immature corn to their home country.
“They come here. They not only buy from farmers, but they also buy farms. So they take anything that is near maize, whether wet, dirty, non-cleaned, or non-sorted; it is just taken. It has destabilised the market,” Mutasa said.
Mutasa stated that such persons are the ones who export maize contaminated with aflatoxins and that the practice should be prohibited.
Previously, East African countries ratified and agreed on a set of minimum standards for all grains; only grains that were clean and dried to an acceptable level of moisture could be marketed. However, dealers have resorted to purchasing maize directly from farms in order to distort prices, which affects the quality of the food consumed.