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Wednesday, 05 November 2014

Uganda survives EU ban on agriculture exports to Europe

The European Union (EU) has softened its stance and halted plans to ban agricultural exports from Uganda, Saturday Vision has learnt. The development comes barely a week after reports that no agricultural products from Uganda would be allowed entry into Europe after it was said that fresh food exports had failed to comply with EU plant health requirements. This followed the discovery of pests in red peppers and roses consignments destined for Brussels, Belgium last month. Last week, Saturday Vision reported that the ban was set to be implemented next month, which would have hit hard over 170 fresh commodity exporters and thousands of farmers involved in the export chain. This would have resulted in the Government losing billions in revenue. EU’s programme officer for trade in Uganda, Céline Prud’homme Madsen, told said sanctions against Uganda have been put on hold because EU has received promising progress of action on the errant exporters.

“The EU delegation in Uganda has been working in close contact with the agriculture and trade ministries on the matter. The recent implementation of the action plan seems to have had an impact on the number of interceptions at EU borders. The ban has been avoided for now,” Madsen said in an email. Following the discovery African cotton leaf worm in roses and the false coding moth in red peppers, EU protested to Uganda, which resulted in a number of measures being taken against misbehaving exporters. EU registered its complaint in writing last month to Uganda and urged the Government to investigate the reasons for this non-compliance and take action or face action. Madsen said the Government, through the agriculture ministry, the Uganda Export Promotion was tasked to put in place “some concrete pre-export control measures to ensure a dramatic reduction of the percentage of nonconform interceptions by September 30”.

Source: newvision.co.ug

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