The Government of Uganda will start issuing birth certificates to every single cow in the country from September, and register them properly to make cattle products traceable to their original source.
Vincent Ssempijja, the country’s Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, announced this on Wednesday.
The decision is aimed at clamping down on the practice of beef producers adding excessive preservatives to the meat to make it last longer.
“For cattle farmers, it is going to be worse. You will be registered as a farmer, the cow will be registered, numbered and will have a birth certificate because the importers of our products demand meat for cows aged between 15 to 24 months. So, we are going to sell depending on their age,” Vincent Ssempijja said.
The minister explained that the government of Uganda was compelled to take this measure in compliance with European Union demands that, all countries with intent to export agricultural produce to their markets must produce their traceability.
“They want to know where the products are coming from; they have been impounding and banning all consignments from Uganda if they find one box with issues.
“Farmers will be registered and their products given bar codes so that if they find a problem with one box, they look for the source and sort out the problem. We cannot enter lucrative market unless farmers register,” ,” Ssempijja said.
The minister added that an audit team from the European Union will visit the country in September 2019 to ensure all farmers producing meat for the EU market are registered.
“Apart from traceability of the products, the team also wants to ensure that farmers benefit directly because many of them are cheated by middlemen. Government will not cater for those who defy the order when it comes to markets,” Ssempijja stated.