Key grain stakeholders in Uganda are now well informed regarding nine revised East African Community (EAC) standards for cereals and pulses and two new standards on sampling & test methods that will improve the flow of intraregional trade in grains. On February 7, the USAID Hub and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) conducted an introduction event in Kampala, Uganda to build awareness of the gazetted standards among stakeholders and to provide a platform to facilitate discussion on the roadmap to domesticate and implement the standards in Uganda. The nine revised standards and two new standards for sampling and test methods were approved by the EAC Council of Ministers in November 2017 and subsequently gazetted under EAC Legal Notice Number EAC/149/2017, dated 7th December 2017.
Uganda was the second stop for the USAID Hub and EAGC awareness raising events. The partnership held a similar workshop on the revised standard in Kenya in December 2017, and will continue to hold similar forums in all five EAC Partner States. The goal is to sensitize industry stakeholders and the general public of the gazette standards and to highlight their importance in intra-regional food trade, food security, food quality and safety.
Participants of the Ugandan forum included representatives from the newly formed East African Cross Border Traders Association, which will facilitate rapid dissemination of the revised standards to traders at the Uganda border posts.
Grain quality inconsistencies among EAC countries have been a major constraint on formal regional trade. The EAGC has been working with the EAC secretariat, with support from the USAID hub, to revise the nine standards and develop the two new standards. The revised standards will improve the flow of quality grain commodities from surplus to deficit regions and, in turn, boost the EAC’s economic growth, resilience and integration.