Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets (FtF IAM) Activity held two “Agro-processing Business to Business Exchanges (B2B)” on Tuesday, September 13, and Thursday, September 15, in Lira (Northern Uganda) and Mbale (Eastern Uganda). The events hosted food processors, traders, exporters, business advisory service providers like Food Safety Associates and local consultants, Partners in Food Solutions, Host District Officials, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), and other USAID-funded activities like Uganda Strategic Investment Activity (SIA) and Institutional Support and Strengthening (ISS), to discuss quality food trade, the value of certification and opportunities for investing to meet quality standards.
Uganda’s agro-processing sector is underperforming because the grains traded in local markets do not meet the minimum quality standards. This poses health risks to consumers and restricts access to higher-value markets, profitability, and growth. At the event, millers recognized the need to improve relationships with farmers and other stakeholders, self-regulate, and invest in the traceability of commodities to tap into export markets. The event also revealed that trainings conducted by FtF IAM triggered millers in Lira and Mbale to put standards in place and upgrade their premises. Most millers had not been aware of the standards and didn’t appreciate them previously. Following the B2B exchange events, FtF IAM will follow up with millers to facilitate improved manufacturer and business practices for quality food trade, encourage certification and strengthen networks among the value chain actors.