On Thursday, August 25, the Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets Activity (FtF IAM) hosted a value addition and food trade event in Fort Portal titled, “Agro-processing Business to Business Exchange.” The event convened 50 agro-processing stakeholders from Western Uganda, including representatives from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), The Grain Council Uganda (TGCU), the District Commercial Officer, Food Safety Associates (FSA), World Food Programme (WFP), processors, laboratory service providers (St. Michaels laboratory) and Equity Bank. The event is the first in a series of three regional learning events hosted by FtF IAM.
Agro-processing and value addition have the potential to transform agricultural markets in Uganda but have not yet been fully harnessed. This is mainly because most firms do not meet the quality and safety requirements for products to be more competitive and most domestic markets do not demand quality standards. Certification is one cornerstone for the transformation of the agricultural markets in Uganda. During the event, participants discussed enablers of quality food trade, certification support services and the value of certification, and raising capital for investment in quality standards. The event provided opportunities for processors to build relationships with service providers and regulatory bodies that will help facilitate the certification process.