ENTEBBE- The Uganda National Bureau of Standards and Directorate of Fisheries with support from the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) have developed simplified guidelines for the fishing industry.
This was during the hand-over ceremony of the guidelines document, at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) in Entebbe.
According to UNBS, the guidelines will provide basic information on the laws, regulations, procedures, and principles for addressing safety and quality of fish products.
The guidelines will also be applied during handling, preparation (such as drying), processing, packaging, storage, transport and marketing of fish.
The UNBS Deputy Executive Director, Patricia Bageine Ejalu who is in charge of Standards, revealed in her speech that the documents will help the inspectors to equip fishermen with new skills on primary processing of fish which will, in turn, increase the competitiveness at both local and international levels.
“As UNBS, we want to improve on the quality of products in Uganda especially fish; much as we are focusing on export market, we must make sure that the quality of fish in Uganda meets both national and international standards”. Ms Ejalu said.
The CSN Team Leader for Africa, Graham Holloway said this is a pilot project in Africa funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development.
Uganda and Zambia are the first countries to benefit from the project.
“We aren’t producing Commonwealth standards but encouraging Commonwealth countries to train themselves on how to produce quality by learning more on how to use standards that’s why we partnered with UNBS. We wanted to assist real people with real problems of getting their products to market, getting good price for their products which come with quality,” Mr. Holloway said.
The Acting Commissioner of Fisheries at MAAIF, Tom Bukenya who is also in charge of quality control and assurance said:
“We had a number of these guidelines but they were in English which wasn’t in favour of our people but since these documents have been translated in local languages, they will help inspectors train fishermen on primary processing of fish, which will in turn improve export of Nile Perch and also help to discover export avenues for other fish species.”Revealed Mr Bukenya.