Uganda: Change Attitudes and Secure Quality Assurance

- An agreement signed on Quality Assurance in Fisheries in Uganda

31.3.2009

30.03.2009

The general idea is to change attitudes and secure quality assurance of fish products for consumption in Uganda and for export with a new project which was undersigned recently by ICEIDA and the Government of Uganda. According to Gunnar Þórðarson, Project Manager in Fisheries in Uganda, the support includes re-organising quality assurance and training of inspectors who will be responsible for surveillance and training in the fishing communities and the Beach Management Units by Lake Victoria, Lake Albert and Koyoga. Close cooperation will be with district authorities and fishermen associations.

The Government of Uganda asked ICEIDA for support in addressing quality assurance in fisheries where problems were evident in export markets, especially within the EU, says Gunnar. “The request was embraced, since such a project is in line with other projects ICEIDA has been supporting in Uganda, like the Functional Adult Literacy Programme and the District Development Programme in Kalangala District, on Lake Victoria. A part of the FALP includes training in quality assurance in fisheries, but literacy and numeracy is a prerequisite for such knowledge to be learned. It has been decided that the Project Manager will be a local, which is in line with new emphasis in development cooperation,” he says.

Fish production is important for the economy of Uganda, around 6% of GDP. Fishing and fish processing provides direct employment to around 300 thousand people, but around 1,2 million people depend on fisheries for their livelihoods. The most important export markets are in Europe which puts requirements on the sector which must be met.      

The agreement between Iceland and the government of Uganda is in effect until 2013. Sighvatur Björgvinsson the Director General of ICEIDA signed the agreement on behalf on Iceland and Chris Kassam the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance on behalf of Uganda.