The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has opened a 3 rd Food Safety Testing Laboratory for Western Region based in Mbarara City. The Equipment for the Laboratory was donated by the Danish Government through Trade Mark Africa.
According to Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, the Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), the Bureau has already opened similar Food Testing Laboratories to serve Northern Region based in Gulu city and another for Eastern Region, based in Mbale City.
He noted that by moving these Testing Laboratories nearer to the Regional Offices, the cost of doing business for the majority of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) based in the countryside will reduce since Enterprises who used to seek testing services from UNBS Central Laboratories in Kampala can now get them from the Regional Offices.
He also expects the overall compliance to quality standards of locally manufactured products to improve and be competitive on both the domestic and export markets.
The Regional Food Safety Laboratories will provide conformity assessment services to Enterprises and Industries involved in processing and value addition of both Food and Non Food to ensure that they meet the minimum quality standards before being put on the market.
Such commodities will include among others, Beef,Milk and other Milk products Edible Fats and Oils, Water, Honey, Fruits and Vegetables,Grain, Cereals and Cereal products and other Animal Products.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Francis Mwebesa welcomed the Bureau’s initiative of decentralizing its services nearer to the Regional Offices to support the Government’s Industrialization Agenda, given that Government has opened up a number of Industrial Parks across the Country.
He noted that the Government Programs such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Agro-Industrialization are expected to stimulate production and value addition which requires UNBS services of provide quality assurance to enable them access both the domestic and export markets.
Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru thanked the Development Partners for the trust put in the Bureau by committing such significant amount of resources worth USD 4,455,283 towards enhancement of the Bureau’s Quality Infrastructure which is critical in supporting trade and consumption of safe products as well as stimulating economic development through Industrialization, Import Substitution and Export Promotion.
The Danish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Signe Winding Albjerg said that the UNBS Laboratories which were opened in Mbale City and Gulu City have already made impact in reducing the turnaround time of testing products, hence increasing consumer protection and also cross border trade where harmonized standards are critical for Market Access to the EAC Regional Market.
She therefore urged the Enterprises to take advantage of the New Laboratories in Mbarara City to grow their businesses and trade in safe products.
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