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 Prof David Kabasa Appointed To Head Agro Chemicals Commission

 Prof David Kabasa Appointed To Head Agro Chemicals Commission

In a bid to save farmers from buying  fake Agro chemicals in the market, Ministry of Agriculture has appointed prominent Makerere University principal of College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources and Biosecurity (Covab) Prof David Kabasa to head Agro chemicals commission.

The commission with 11 member team will review current Agro chemicals distribution networks in the market place and recommend regulatory reforms for the sector in the next 90 days to government.

“They will profile agrochemicals, acaricides and imports in the market and make reforms in the three months,” Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze said.

The Minister however advised farmers, agrochemicals dealers and other stakeholders to work with the team to speed up reforms in the sector.

” I appeal to farmers and stakeholders including exporters and importers to work with the new agrochemicals commission team so that Agro chemicals challenges are addressed and regulatory policy is reviewed,” Tumwebaze said.

Prof David Kabasa is also funding director of African Institute for Strategic Animal Resources and Development (AFRISA).

Prof David Kabasa will work along side Dr Eve Kasirye, Dr Steven Kiseka, Dr Julian Omalla, Beatrice Byarugaba, Dr John Nuwagaba, Tayebwa Rutamwebwa among others.

In April Uganda’s leading Agro chemical manufacturer, Bukoola Chemical Industries has unveiled  a public campaign against fake Agro-chemicals.

Dr. Paul Mawanda Kyabaggu, Managing Director Bukoola Chemical Industries Ltd together with Fred Muwema, Director Legal at Anti Counterfeit Network officially launched “Protect Life…Twefeeko” campaign against agro-chemical counterfeit products in the market.

The campaign  aimed  at creating awareness about fake agro-chemical inputs in the market to manage and guarantee quality of stock, food security and health of the public.

According to him Mawanda,Pesticide world market is worth approximately $45 billion compared to the African market that is reported to range between $1.5 to 2 billion, largely affecting farmers exporters and the general public’s health.

“Most national associations in Africa report about 15 -20 % of their markets as being affected by illegal pesticides on the market while others suggest 40 – 80%. Egypt, West Africa, Uganda, Tanzania have been reported to be the hot spots for a thriving illegal pesticide market. This affects Farmers as it leads to loss and damage of crops making poor farmers poorer, high toxicity levels in the foods grown and Environmental issues. It is therefore vital that we tackle this issue head on to save our livelihoods and lives, ”Mawanda said.

He urged industry stakeholders to become more vigilant in purchasing, inspection and litigation of criminals attached to counterfeit pesticides.

“As farmers, there is need for more vigilance when purchasing the pesticides. Pay close attention to the quality markers and make sure you buy from trusted suppliers and report criminals to the authorities as soon as possible. Dealers also need to desist from the vice, ensure to source from official distributors, report criminals as well and check all received consignment for tamper proof. Government also needs to strengthen its surveillance, inspection and enforcement of the law against these criminals to fight the vice,” he said.

ACN Director legal- Fred Muwema advised Agro dealers and the private sector to support the fight against counterfeits.

“No one can survive without eating food. By this I don’t mean any food. It is very important that we have safe food on the market. Unfortunately, counterfeit agro-inputs like herbicides and pesticides are poisoning our food and making it unsafe. It is the duty of every consumer to join this fight to ensure our collective health and survival, ” Muwema noted.

Muwema however said that ACN shall commence legal enforcement measures to prosecute culprits who shall be found to engage in counterfeiting of Bukoola products after expiry of 90 days grace period which begins today.

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