Agribusiness

Uganda to crackdown on adulterated agro-inputs

 

KAMPALA, Uganda– The Agriculture Minister Hon. Vincent Sempijja, Government has  given  a three months ultimatum for re-registration and certification of dealers in agro-inputs especially acaricides.

Sempijja also announced the beginning of inspection and crackdown on sale of adulterated agro-inputs. Action is to be taken by MAAIF in close collaboration with the National Drug Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, Agriculture Police and line Ministries as well as Agencies of Government.

The Country is faced with an influx of adulterated animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals and this has resulted into failure to cure the intended diseases or kill the targeted pests that they are meant to.

The Ministry of Agriculture said some of the ways by which adulterated animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals occur includee: Deliberate addition of other substances (adulteration) to increase the volume with the aim of getting more money from sales, Re-labeling wrongly a different substance as another in order to profiteer from a cheaper substance,  Wrong usage of a substance to manage a disease condition for which the manufacturer did not mean, Re-labeling expired animal drugs, biologicals, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals

DANGERS OF ADULTERATED ANIMAL DRUGS, CHEMICALS, ACARICIDES AND AGROCHEMICALS:

Animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals are manufactured to work optimally at a specific concentration and structure of the active principle. Any alteration in this concentration and structure renders the animal drugs, vaccines, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals ineffective or inefficient.

The use of counterfeits results into; Failure of the pest or disease agent to be killed at all, therefore the infestation or disease does not recover, leading to death, Development of resistance by pests and disease causing organisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) to the available animal drugs, acaricides or agrochemicals, Loss of income by the farmers and revenue by Government. For example the current tick resistance challenge is causing a total loss of UGX 3.8 trillion shilling annually through calf mortality (about 30% calf crop dies annually)

TICK RESISTANCE TO ACARICIDES:

The Ministry is currently grappling with tick resistance to acaricides which is being addressed: Research is being undertaken to identify an acaricides that is capable of killing of the resistant ticks,  The effective acaricides will be used in the affected districts, Once the resistant tick is cleared, acaricides zoning will be adopted using single molecule acaricides, The Ministry in collaboration with line ministries and agencies of government will therefore control and regulate acaricides that will be allowed into the country, The public and the traders dealing in acaricides are required to adhere to the zoning and acaricides regulation that will be put in place from time to time depending on the circumstances.

 

Dealers in animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals are urged to henceforth ensure that they do not deal in counterfeit products, the public is advised to be keen on the animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals which they buy for use. The public is urged to report to authority particularly to the Ministry and Local Government staff of any suspected adulterated inputs on sale or in use.

GOVERNMENT MEASURES

1. Government will register all manufactures of animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals

2. Government will re-register and license all importers of animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals

3. Government will certify the distribution network of all importers and dealers in animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals

4. Only licensed and certified importers and dealers will be allowed to deal in animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals

5. Government will provide information to farmers on authorized dealers from whom to buy animal drugs, chemicals, acaricides and agrochemicals

6. Government is giving a 3 month transition period for which the importers and dealers are required to comply with the above regulatory directive.

7. A joint inspection and enforcement will be undertaken by Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Police, National Drug Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards in collaboration with line ministries and agencies of Government.