Uganda’s government has said that it intends issuing all cows in the country with birth certificates.
The government said registering all cows and their farmers will help trace the animals and their products.
The Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja, told a public gathering that the move is for the good of the livestock industry.
According to Daily Monitor, Ssempijja said on Tuesday, that the international market demands that all countries producing foodstuff and crops for the European market produce its traceability.
He said ‘‘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.”
The minister also mentioned that “Farmers will be registered and their products given barcodes 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.’’
Certificate is a must
The minister added that all cows must be registered and given birth certificates.
‘‘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,” he added.
A European Union team according to Ugandan officials will be in the country in September this year to ensure that all farmers producing commodities destined for Europe are registered.
Ssempijja assured that ‘‘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.”
Some farmers have already raised concerns about this new policy.
The government has however rejected claims that the registration exercise is aimed at cheating farmers by imposing taxes on them.